State Rep. Blames Cop For Getting Hit By Distracted Driver

Florida State Rep. Matt Willhite said that SRO Officer Bob Keating should has avoided being there.

Wellington, Florida Florida State Rep. Matt Willhite publicly blamed a 35-year veteran police officer for getting injured by a distracted driver as he was directing traffic outside a school.

Willhite said the incident may have been avoided if the officer had been doing his job.

School District of Palm Beach County Police Officer Bob Keating, 59, has served as a school resource officer in the Wellington community for the past 12 years.

He also served as an officer in New York for over two decades, the Palm Beach Post reported.

I was a cop in New York for 23 yearsNever got hurt. Now I get run over by a soccer mom in Wellington, Officer Keating said.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Willhite accused Officer Keating of not doing his job as a school resource officer, and said the officer should have been working to protect the entire school campus and our childrennot worry about getting cars out of the parking lot as he does every day.

Its too bad this mom was a distracted driver not paying attention and on her cell phone, Willhite wrote in the since-deleted post. However, maybe if the cop was doing his job as an SRO and not as a traffic director, he wouldnt have gotten hit.

Willhite also included the hashtag, #doyourjobSRO towards the conclusion of his post.

Officer Keating was injured on Dec. 15, 2017, as he was directing traffic outside Wellington Landings Middle School, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Danielle Hamilton, 38, said she turned her head for a moment when her daughter distracted her, and that Officer Keating was in front of her moving vehicle when she looked back at the road.

She didnt see me, Officer Keating said. I dont know how she didnt see me. She turned in [to the school], so if she was going any faster, I would have been killed instantly. But because she turned in, when she hit me, I flew in the air. I tried to get up, but I couldnt.

Hamilton was cited for careless driving, and Officer Keating said he was told she was distracted by her cellphone when she hit him.

Hamilton and bystanders immediately rushed to the injured officers aid, and he was taken to a local hospital with broken knee bones, three herniated discs and internal bleeding, the Florida Police Chiefs Association said in a Facebook post.

He was unable to return to work for eight months due to his injuries, and continues to struggle with back pain, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Im lucky to be alive, Officer Keating said. My whole outlook on life has changed, because I had a near-death experience. I was a cop in New York for 23 years. I [worked] homicides. I was shot at. Never got hurt.

Two weeks after he returned to work, Officer Keating was back outside the school, directing traffic.

Florida Police Chiefs Association President David Perry said he was disappointed to hear of Willhites negative comments regarding Officer Keatings injuries.

It is disappointing and painful to hear a local leader make comments that diminish the sacrifice that our law enforcement officers like Officer Keating make on a daily basis to protect our communities," Perry said.

According to the associations post, Willhite claimed that he made the comment in an effort to raise awareness that more funding is needed to provide additional officers in schools.

"I'm fighting for more money, but when we only have one officer at the school, we need to utilize our resources as best as possible," he said. "I in no way meant to offend anyone in law enforcement."

"As far as I know, the guy is an officer with the Palm Beach County school district, so he's an SRO," Willhite continued. "My whole point is I'm a supporter of SROs in all of our schools, and with tough budgets and the need to have SROs in every school, we've got to rethink how we use what we've already got."

Comments (38)
No. 1-34
JBo
JBo

"I in no way meant to offend anyone in law enforcement."

You failed.

Danimyl
Danimyl

Wow what a way to distract from your bone head comment. Let's hope you don't get re elected

LEO0301
LEO0301

Politicians are as useless as tits on a bull.

Steve1
Steve1

Florida State Rep. Matt Willhite is no Leader, he is a smart mouth politician thinking he can talk away his disparaging comment by trying to cover it up with excuses! If the people of Florida want State Rep. Matt Willhite as a person that speaks for them this is sad!

Officer Cynical
Officer Cynical

On Twitter he's @repmattwillhite. Let him know how you feel.

TeneteLineam
TeneteLineam

If a child got run over in that parking lot Im 100% sure this guy would be crying about the SRO not protecting the kids. 100% spunktrumpet confirmed.

butterfly
butterfly

He was right where many children would have been had he not been there. So this idiot would have rather seen a bunch of children being hit instead of the very effective police officer? REALLY? This woman was in an are where there were children we by nature were not watching what they were doing. A driver that doesn't watch what they are doing is lighting a match to dynamite! She is lucky he was not killed!

butterfly
butterfly

Again they cater to the criminals by bashing police every where they can!

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Wilhite is an idiot.........an idiot. How dare he blame the officer for doing his job. Politicians have all the answers but absolutely no common sense. It's easy to quarterback what happened when you no nothing. SHE was distracted and it was her negligence that caused the officers injuries..........She should also be sued for that !!

RunCop
RunCop

Liberal scum

Kathi5
Kathi5

Maybe he should get out there and do his job. What an aH*.

MFLindsey
MFLindsey

Democrat against cops - who ever could have guessed that one. . .

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

Bashing LEO's. A new liberal past time...

Tps905
Tps905

Uninformed politician! Depending on where your assigned as a SRO it may be more of a benefit to do some traffic. It clears the campus faster, less reasons for students to loiter and parents can be more of a problem than the students. Over the years we had several parent fights over traffic in the parking lot.

Bud
Bud

Which is it asswipe, this, "Willhite said the incident may have been avoided if the officer had been doing his job. Or this, "I in no way meant to offend anyone in law enforcement." Typical politician, trying to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Do us all a favor, resign!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

There is a point to be made about limiting the role of police officers from schools, and to keep police officers away from roles in schools traditionally performed by civilians. This was not the case to make that point. Instead, I'll just say that I am glad the officer was able and willing to go back to work.

Bill d
Bill d

And when a kid gets run over he will blame the cops for not directing traffic. Amazing what scumbags will say to get votes, even worse is the people he is making happy by blaming cops for everything. What a world.

RIDGERUNNER
RIDGERUNNER

Distracted soccer mom who was on her freakin cell phone couldn't possibly be at fault could she? Are we living in a BLAME A COP society or what???

pat901$aol.com
pat901$aol.com

Was Willhite a Dem or Rep...??

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Typical politician...........so full of shit , it has to come out of their mouths, not just their asses. Asshat should be voted out of office !

61mouse
61mouse

Sounds like he did do his job, he saved saved a kid from hit and killed by this asshole

61mouse
61mouse

He must be related to David Hogg

Eddied1954
Eddied1954

Mr Willhite, my son goes to school in your district and his best friends Father is a very prominent Doctor in Wellington so they will be making Sure ALL of their friends and relatives, All of voting age btw, will make their feelings known during your Next attempt at staying in office!!! Those men & women lay their lives on the line each and every day so that ungrateful fools such as yourself can feel safe and secure!! Grow up Mr Willhite, #DOYOURJOBSIR

Propolice
Propolice

Doesnt matter, hes an idiot looking to grab a certain audience.

RPG156
RPG156

St Rep Willhite.... I'd wager that maybe you should do YOUR job and not get lost in the weeds worrying about what an SRO's job is. #EAD

Mic911
Mic911

Typical politician letting their ass run their mouth, then afterwards they attempt to back peddle and say "I wass just trying to point out this or that to get more money". Sure you were! Do your job Mr. Wilhite and every one else a favor, stay out of of politics! Then you have th dumbass soccer mom, was she distracted by her daughter or her cell phone? Sounds like she needs to go back to driving school. Glad Officer Keating is ok and back on the job, doing it the way it should be done, correctly!

lrogers664
lrogers664

Just more venom from a Democratic politician. We really should not expect anything else.

magnumforc
magnumforc

Willhite is an asshat. Enough said.

DRTice
DRTice

We don't need these idiot people like Matt Willhite in our government. They should have to pass a minimum IQ test BEFORE they are allowed in office.

Snooper
Snooper

Best I can tell, Willhite is a flaming idiot...

Grog
Grog

This f**kwad must be a Democrat!

checksix
checksix

With this logic, every homicide victim is responsible for their own death, because they were not elsewhere.

Judy787
Judy787

If Rep. Willhite had kept his mouth shut, everyone in the country wouldn't know what a jackass he is.

grandaddydean
grandaddydean

"In a Facebook post on Friday, Willhite accused Officer Keating of not doing his job as a school resource officer, and said the officer should have been working to protect the entire school campus and our childrennot worry about getting cars out of the parking lot as he does every day. Geewis Wilhelm, isn't directing traffic day after day part of his duties?? Or what else would you have him do since there must not have been a city officer their. You have never been a parent in a car trying to pick up your child have you. The lady was charged. She admitted guilty so get ove yourself.