Deputy Appeared to Operate Two Facebook Pages
By James F. Tracy
Our April 9 report of Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Fitzsimons’ April 1, 2018 passing generated considerable online interest. This followup is intended to clarify the initial story based on observations of Fitzsimons’ social media activity and what we now recognize as the deputy’s dual Facebook pages that contain differing information.
First and foremost, Deputy Fitzsimons’ Facebook account was not “scrubbed,” as previously reported. Rather, Fitzsimons had no less than three Facebook pages–one of which was initiated in January 2016.
Further, a second Facebook page overlooked in our initial report in fact contains Fitzsimons’ politically-oriented posts that tend to make his untimely passing suspect, and as of this writing these political posts or images can still be viewed on the page in question.
While Facebook does not condone the practice it is not uncommon for individuals to have more than one such account, possibly in order to distinguish between professional and private/domestic lives and activities. (Fitzsimons’ third Facebook page listed above contains only one entry, a self portrait taken inside a vehicle posted March 7, 2017.)
The “About” section of Fitzsimons’ first Facebook account listed in the above graphic has no social contacts, educational affiliation or profession listed, suggesting the owner adjusted the platform’s privacy settings.
This page was created in 2017 and is where Fitzsimons appears to share the posts suggesting skepticism over the “March For Our Lives” event, in addition to criticism of Democratic Party political leaders and enthusiasm for President Donald Trump. The page history, dating to at least Summer 2017, indicates a pattern of frequent posts highlighting a conservative political orientation.
On March 26 alone, a day before before Deputy Fitzsimons is “seen” on Facebook a final time, he “shares” 10 graphics or videos on this page, including the inflammatory depiction of teenage gun control activist David Hogg. Five of these reposts, including the Hogg graphic, take place in just over ten minutes–between 4:19PM and 4:30PM, perhaps on his work schedule during a break.
Earlier on March 27 Fitzsimmons seemingly replaces his profile photo with one that is at least several months old.
Four days prior, on March 23, Fitzsimons shared eight graphics or videos, and on March 25 four more.
There are also numerous photos and videos posted to this page depicting Fitzsimons’ love of music and sense of humor.
And again on March 26, less than one week before his April 1 passing, Deputy Fitzsimons posts professionally-related content of donning military-style body armor which, perhaps ironically, fits at least one eyewitness description of the garb worn by the individual involved in carrying out the Parkland school shooting.
The second Facebook account, “Jason Fitzsimons (Big Country),” is only active between January 18, 2016 to June 15, 2017, where one finds the page’s last post. As noted above, this gave us the initial impression that Deputy Fitzsimons’ Facebook account had been partially purged. On this page one finds Fitzsimons’ 1,000+ friends listed, in addition to posts of the deputy in out-of-uniform attire and alongside family members. Fitzsimons passed at 42 years of age, which means that he began his social media activity in his late 30s–unusual but not entirely impossible, unless there are additional Facebook accounts that have been deleted or the party is using another identity.
One cannot determine exactly why Deputy Fitzsimons used two Facebook accounts, yet for some reason based on the chronology above “Jason Fitzsimons (Big Country)” was abandoned in mid-2017 and its successor discussed above became active shortly thereafter.
Again, this is an attempt to amend previous analysis and more fully interpret Fitzsimons’ social media presence and unusual death. There are some readers already raising flags on the deputy’s identity and the authenticity of the death itself. At this point, however, given the information presently available we have no reason to doubt the Broward Sheriff’s April 2 Twitter and Facebook posts announcing the officer’s tragic passing.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Deputy Jason Fitzsimons today. Deputy Fitzsimons began his career with the agency In 2008. During this time he served with the North Lauderdale and Pompano Beach Districts. Our thoughts and prayers are with with his family. pic.twitter.com/vBmf50LtfJ
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) April 2, 2018