Sheriff candidate Scott Israel says a group supporting opponent Richard Lemack has mischaracterized his internal affairs record.
The Broward Coalition for Justice and Equality, an electioneering communication organization, sent an email this week with the title "Israel Lied About Shooting Black Men.'' The ECO's paperwork states that it supports Lemack.
The email includes a quote from a July Sun-Sentinel story that states "I have used force seven times in my career ... seven white men. Never a minority.''
Israel says in an interview he used force more than seven times against people of different races.
The ECO email references a 1985 internal affairs investigation by the Fort Lauderdale police in a robbery case. Israel was trying to apprehend two black suspects when one of them fired at him twice. Israel fired back. The complaint doesn't detail whether the suspect was hit but it states that he fled.
Israel defended his record at a Coconut Creek candidate forum Thursday night.
"I wanted to live,'' he said. "That was the only thing I did wrong.''
The 1985 investigation shows that the complainant was the police chief and consisted of a routine investigation departments do after an officer-involved shooting. Israel was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Israel was cleared in all 10 internal affairs investigations during his 25-year tenure with Fort Lauderdale, according to the police department.
Israel says a minority has never filed a complaint against him that led to an internal affairs investigation.
But some of the backup files are explaining details about those 1980s incidents are missing so it's difficult to determine the race of the complainants in some cases.