A Massachusetts police department is trying to make things right.
Earlier this week, a cop for the City of Fall River put up a post on the department’s Facebook page comparing the late George Floyd to former officer and now-convicted murderer Derek Chauvin.
Reportedly, the post was simply a screenshot of a tweet.
As you know, on Monday, the erstwhile Minnesota cop was found guilty of all charges — second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter:
Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of all three charges in the murder of George Floyd.
— Evan Watson (@EvanWatsonNews) April 20, 2021
Here he is, being escorted out:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 20, 2021
The Fall River post referenced Derek’s response just after the verdict:
“Chauvin immediately stood and calmly placed his hands behind his back. Imagine where we’d be if George had done the same.”
That prompted the department to issue a statement, which it did just after noon Wednesday:
It is with regret that the Fall River Police Department’s Facebook page was accessed by personnel who inadvertently re-posted an opinion that was meant for their own personal account. The posting in no way represents the opinion of the Chief of Police or the Fall River Police Department. We will continue our commitment toward transparency and building relationships with our community.
A slew of unforgiving comments came after.
- The opinion expressed represents the opinion of your personnel. Trying to say, “Oh no, that’s not the OFFICIAL opinion” just expresses what we all know to be true. You’ve got a public face and a private face, and you’ll say one thing to us, and another behind closed doors. You want us to believe the public one is your real face, but character is all about what you do when no one is looking.
- So what repercussions will there be to said personnel? Are you going to hold them to the high standard we expect from police? Will that person remain on the force, or will there be some education? This person literally posted support of a convicted murderer!
- The culprit should be identified and fired. This is ridiculous.
- This is completely unacceptable, even if it was on their private page. It speaks to the mindset of your officers.
- So what you are saying is that you have an officer on your force who believes Chauvin was correct in his actions, which is exactly part of the larger systemic issue of policing.
- So we’ve learned that people who are supposed to be neutral to serve and protect us are harboring radical, hateful views. That post was completely inappropriate. It undermines public trust in FRPD. All of the “good cops” should be ashamed of that post and hold this individual or people accountable. That is not appropriate conduct becoming FRPD.
- But what is happening to the person who meant to post this “on their personal account”? What steps are being taken? Will they be fired? They are clearly racist and have no place in law enforcement. They wouldn’t protect and serve appropriately. I have a lot of questions about the judgement of that person and this entire department.
- Well George Floyd was cuffed, and that wasn’t the catalyst of the incident. And if Chauvin had resisted arrest, it is highly doubtful the court officer would have knelt on his neck for 10 minutes…
Mayor Paul Coogan released his own statement:
“The post shared to the Fall River Police Department Facebook page was disappointing, frustrating and unacceptable. While the Fall River Police Department is full of great men and women who care deeply for our community, there is no place in the FRPD for an opinion like that shared today.
“The post, despite being intended for a personal page, contains beliefs completely incompatible with my hopes for the Fall River Police Department. Chief Jeff Cardoza has been diligently working to change the culture of the Fall River Police Department and I will personally be following up with the Chief to address lingering opinions like those shared today. While I am saddened by the harm that the statement has caused, it has reminded us of the hard work we have yet to do to create transparent, strong relationships between the FRPD and our community.”
As reported by The Herald News, Police Chief Jeff apologized further, noting the person who shared the post was “one of a few designated officers” with access to the Facebook account.
“We will thoroughly investigate and address this incident, up to and including disciplinary action,” he vowed.
“I’m personally disappointed these attitudes exist.”
The wake following George Floyd’s tragic death continues to consume the country. Has any single occurrence of the last 100 years involving so few people had such broad effect?
Some may have believed Monday’s verdict closed a chapter in the nation’s history.
Personally, I very much doubt that’s true.
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