Surfside Mayor Giselle Bundchen criticizes treatment by city police: “Totally unacceptable”

Surfside, Fla. – In a letter to the city's police chief, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett criticized a police officer for his “dismissive attitude” toward supermodel Gisele Bundchen during a traffic stop Wednesday.

Bundchen, 43, broke down in tears after being detained by a Surfside police officer and told the officer, who has not been publicly identified, that he was being followed by paparazzi, the officer's body camera recorded.

“I have these guys following me and nothing is protecting me,” he said.

The officer released her with a warning, saying “there's nothing she can do” and told her to file a report with Miami Beach police.

“I can't stop them from doing their job of taking pictures,” he said.

Burkett, who was recently re-elected mayor of Surfside, said in a letter to Interim Chief Henry Dose that he was “shocked” by the video and the way Officer Bundchen handled his concerns.

“This response is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the values, judgment and service residents expect from their police,” Burkett wrote. “A dismissive stance toward a resident who is clearly at risk is not the way we want to see our police interact with and serve our residents.”

Twelve people who spoke to Local 10 News agreed the stop could have been handled better.

“I would have liked to have seen more empathy in the initial connection to what was going on,” Doss said.

“A lot of people I've talked to in Surfside say this officer is a great officer,” Doss told Local 10 News reporter Rosh Lowe.

“It's unique,” the boss said. “Could we have done better? I think it's a learning opportunity to understand what the dynamics of that situation are.

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Gillian Patton

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