Seattle Cop Fired for 'Inappropriate' Political Social Media Posts
Seattle, WA – A Seattle police officer was fired for posting profane and politically-charged comments, including rants against illegal immigration, on his Instagram.
An internal investigation determine that the officer violated the department’s social media policy with the rants and a post that “appeared to endorse violence” against former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the Seattle Times reported.
"I don't condone sending package bombs but god it would be nice for Killary and Anti cop Obama to finally STFU,” the officer captioned an Instagram post that showed a picture of Obama and Clinton together, the Seattle Patch reported.
The Seattle Police Department began investigating in 2018 after somebody who knew the officer filed an anonymous complaint about his social media posts with the Office of Police Accountability (OPA).
The person complained that several of the officer’s posts were “unprofessional” and "not becoming of a Seattle PD officer," the Seattle Patch reported.
She also complained that numerous posts carried hashtags such as #maga and #trump2020 that were giving him a wide audience, the Seattle Times reported.
"If you support illegal immigrants coming into our country so much then make a difference and bring them into your home and YOU support them you [expletive]!" the officer, who used the IG handle @officerdg, captioned a picture of himself giving the middle finger, KOMO reported.
The account has since been made private.
The investigation and its finding were detailed in a summary report posted by OPA on Wednesday, the Seattle Patch reported.
OPA investigators determined that the officer’s posts violated Seattle Police Department policies on bias-free policing, social media speech, and professional standards, KOMO reported.
However, OPA Director Andrew Myerberg said that the officer didn’t necessarily engage in biased policing and the officer would have been referred for retraining had he not been terminated for the other infractions, the Seattle Patch reported.
But Myerberg said the social media posts were in fact violations of the social media policy and the department’s professional standards.
"This is due to the fact that he appeared to endorse violence against political figures in one posting and, in the other, engaged in a profanity laced critique both of 'illegal immigration' and of those individuals who may support a different political position on this issue than he holds," the OPA director wrote.
The officer admitted, before he was fired, that his Instagram posts “negatively impacted the Department’s ability to serve the public, as well as that the postings were unprofessional,” the Seattle Times reported.
But he also told police that his criticism of illegal immigration was a comment on the practice, not specific individuals, the Seattle Patch reported.
Settle Police Chief Carmen Best was the one who made the final decision to terminate the officer.
Police officials have not yet released the now-former officer’s name or the date of his termination, but Seattle Police Sergeant Sean Whitcomb said they will be releasing more information soon.