Vice-chair of Lakeland police advisory board steps down, remains as board member

The Lakeland Police Citizen Advisory Board is meant to mend relations between police and the community, but there's concern one member's Facebook post could cause further divide.

Monday, West Florida Police Union president Nick Marolda asked Lakeland's police advisory board to remove vice-chair Demetrias Haynes after he posted about an incident on Facebook.

Marolda said the post put a deputy's life in danger.

Hayes stepped down Monday as vice-chair but will remain on the board.

Back in August, Demetrias Haynes was at a Circle K where he was approached by a Polk County sheriff's deputy. Haynes told FOX 13 he was harassed.

According to an incident report, the deputy questioned Haynes after a complaint was made by a woman who said a guy was following her 15-year-old daughter and taking pictures of her. Investigators say the woman pointed to Haynes' SUV.

Haynes, who had a camera on his passenger seat, was not charged and allowed to leave.

Later he posted about the incident on Facebook, along with the deputy's name and her photo.

The post was not well received by Marolda.

At Monday night's Lakeland Police Citizen Advisory Board meeting, Marolda asked the board to remove Haynes as vice-chair, but said he thought Haynes should remain on the board.

"It's a very discouraging situation because we are trying to build relationships with law enforcement and the Lakeland Police Department and the Lakeland community. That's what the purpose of this board is and his actions set us back a little bit," Lakeland Police Advisory Board President Shandale Terrell said.

In the end, Haynes agreed to resign as vice-chair. They'll decide on a new vice-chair at their next meeting on Monday, October 19.