Like many of us, Sgt. Brent Raban of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was fond of Facebook, using it to express himself through his status updates.
But unlike most of us, his updates revealed a darker side that would eventually get him demoted.
The seven-year veteran would write about the people he arrested, bragging at how he was able to beat them without leaving obvious bruises.
Many times, he would update his status while on duty, which is probably something we’ve all done.
Except we’ve probably never written the following (and neither has my one Facebook friend who happens to be a cop):
“It’s not crime fighting … It’s dealing out PUNISHMENT!”
And another time, he was discussing how he enjoyed doling out physical abuse to suspects, saying things like:
“But like a good batterer, I know the areas that hide the marks well.”
And in another instance, he expressed how he was losing his cool because he had gone 14 days without hitting someone.
When confronted by internal affairs, Raban said he was only kidding.That he was nothing more than a comic book nerd. That his statements had nothing to do with his work as a deputy but for his fondness for Batman and The Punisher comics.
But his comic book fantasies obviously spilled over into his job because he would report to duty wearing a camouflage skullcap with the word “PUNISHMENT” printed on it.
Despite his obvious immaturity, Raban had two subordinates working under him; Deputies Gregory Lynch and Michael Woodside.
The three of them would work the ghetto streets of Belle Glade, confronting people on street corners and barging into bars and sniffing them for liquor in places that apparently were only licensed to sell beer and wine.
Internal affairs determined that Raban had violated 11 departmental rules and regulations. Lynch and Woodside had each violated four.
However, as we all know, the hand of justice is sometimes unjust. Lynch and Woodside ended up getting fired.
Raden only got demoted.