A South Florida police chief has been suspended after he blamed a gay cop's COVID-19 death on his “homosexual” lifestyle.

A complaint was filed against Chief Dale Engle, the head of the Town of Davie's police department, after he spoke with officers during a patrol briefing on April 7.

Deputy Shannon Bennett was a 12-year veteran of the Broward Sheriff's Office and a school resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary School.

Bennett died of complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, 10 days after testing positive for the virus. He was 39.

(Related: Jonathan Frey, fiance of Deputy Shannon Bennett, says Bennett's “legacy will live on.”)

Engle attempted to minimize fears of the virus by stating that Bennett's death was caused by his “homosexual” lifestyle, the Miami Herald reported.

Town administrators said that Engle had been placed on administrative leave “pending further review of allegations.”

The Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council Committee criticized Engle's comments in a letter to town administrators.

“He intimated that it was because of the homosexual lifestyle that Deputy Bennett first contracted a serious underlying disease which aggravated the Covid-19 virus and led to his death,” the letter reads.

Michael Tucker, chief of staff for the Fraternal Order of Police, said that officers had asked Engle questions about their health insurance as it relates to COVID-19.

“Really utter shock that the chief would attempt to minimize the risk to everyone and especially first responders by trying to draw a link between what happened to Deputy Bennett tragically and his sexual orientation,” Tucker said.

In an email to officers, Engle said that his comments were “taken out of context” and that they were “not intended to be derogatory” but informative.

As of Sunday, Florida was reporting 19,347 cases of COVID-19 with 452 deaths. While the state has been testing more aggressively for the virus than some states, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis waited until March 24 to order people to shelter in place, 12 days after similar lockdowns were imposed on residents in California, Illinois, and New York.