Shively, KY – A Shively Police Department recruit accused of making racist and homophobic posts on social media between 2015 and 2017 has been fired, the department announced.
Police Recruit Trent McDuffie was hired by the Shively Police Department in mid-July, and was in his fourth week at the police academy when agency officials became aware of his social media posts, WDRB reported.
"The Shively Police Department does not condone, nor will we tolerate, any actions on the part of our members that is insensitive or intolerant of any person's beliefs, color, sexual orientation, political opinion or otherwise," Lieutenant Colonel Josh Myers said during a press conference on Wednesday. "All people have the right to be treated equally."
McDuffie was brought back to the department from the academy on Wednesday, where he was interviewed about the content of his posts.
One retweet showed an image of protesters holding a banner that read, “America was never great,” followed by second meme that read, “So America had never been great…please tell me again why you were running across the border with all your belongings in a paper bag.”
Another retweet from June of 2016 said, “Notice: My home is politically incorrect. We say [expletive] Obama, Merry Christmas, God bless the USA, we salute our flag, we support our troops. If this offends you, please leave. In God we trust.”
In a July, 2017 post, McDuffie retweeted a side-by-side image that showed soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima next to a picture of four men in similar pose raising a rainbow flag. “The LGBT community has NO RIGHT to even compare their ‘struggles’ to that of our soldiers who risk their LIFE to fight for our country,” the image read.
“I [expletive] hate all of you [expletive]” McDuffie tweeted below the image.
In 2016, he retweeted a meme of a soldier that read, “I am the…beer drinking, meat eating, gun owning, terrorist hating, liberal destroying, flag flying, America loving, commie killing [expletive] Obama warned you about!”
“Amen,” McDuffie tweeted in agreement.
Another retweet showed a picture of a Coca-Cola bottle that read, “Share a Coke with Obama,” below the words, “Nah he’ll make me give a sip to everyone in the room who didn’t pay for it.”
McDuffie admitted to having made the posts, was “very remorseful,” and called them a “mistake,” Lt. Col Myers said during the press conference.
“[He] was very open, honest, and forthright,” he added. “These posts occurred prior to him being employed here, but persons who make that type of post aren’t somebody that we want employed here.”
The posts violated the department’s social media policy, WDRB reported.
“As of right now, Mr. McDuffie’s employment with the Shively police department has been terminated,” Lt. Col. Myers confirmed, adding that the department believed the retweets were “insensitive” and “wrong.”
Although a background check was conducted prior to McDuffie being hired, Lt. Col. Myers said the investigator was not aware that the recruit had a Twitter account, the Courier Journal reported.
"We are going to go back to those background investigators and make sure they're taking a very good, thorough look at all social media," he said.