Officer Fired Just After Graduating Academy Over 6-Year-Old Social Media Posts
Tulsa, OK – A Tulsa police officer who just graduated from the academy last month has been fired for social media posts he made prior to being hired.
The Tulsa Police Department (TPD) opened an internal investigation into now-former Tulsa Police Officer Wayne Brown immediately after they were notified about his social media history on Sept. 4, KWTV reported.
Brown’s account, which was under the name of “Duke Brown,” has since either been deleted or made private.
One post from 2013 showed a police officer deploying pepper spray on a group of people sitting on the ground, with the caption, “Don’t mind me, just watering my hippies,” KWTV reported.
Brown shared the image and wrote, “They need more water, they look really thirsty.”
“Don’t judge me because I’m quiet…..No one plans murder out loud,” another 2013 meme read, according to KWTV.
Brown was also criticized for denouncing Islam.
“I pledge to my family, flag and country when the day comes, I will fight till my last breath before I submit to Islam,” a meme from 2015 read, according to KWTV.
In 2013, he shared an image from “Texas Muslim Day.”
“I expected better from Texas! WTF!!!” Brown wrote.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan ordered an internal investigation immediately after he was notified about the rookie’s past social media activity, KWTV reported.
“Within one hour and fifteen minutes of receiving the complaint the officer was terminated,” Tulsa Police Sergeant Shane Tuell said, according to Tulsa World.
The rookie officer was fired for violating the department’s social media policy, which prohibits personnel “from posting forms of speech that express bias against any race, religion, or protected class of individuals,” KWTV reported.
An investigation into the incident – including how Brown was recruited by the department – remains ongoing, according to Tulsa World.