A Detroit-area police officer has been placed on unpaid leave amid an internal investigation into a racist social media post mocking the death of George Floyd.
The post, shared on Facebook, by the unidentified Sterling Heights police officer included an image of Floyd on the ground with Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's knee over his neck. The photo is accompanied with the caption, "When you gotta change a tire but don't wanna get your trousers dirty." Here's the post:
Floyd, a black man, died shortly after the image was taken on May 25, 2020. His death sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism over the summer. Chauvin was later fired and charged with murder.
Officer Faces Termination Over FB Post
"No one's going to stand by behavior like this — it's not going to happen," Sterling Heights Lt. Mario Bastianelli told the Detroit Free Press. "It's completely unacceptable."
The officer who mocked Floyd's death on Facebook could now face serious disciplinary action, including termination, according to Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski. The department has a social media policy that prohibits posting content that could be inflammatory against any religion, race or gender.
"If we're not policing our own guys, I don't blame any resident for not trusting a police officer when they get pulled over or arrested," Dwojakowski said in a statement to WXYZ. "As a police officer, when you post something, it carries tremendous weight. That's why we have a policy that says you can't post anything inflammatory against a religion, race, gender."
"The city of Sterling Heights disavows the abhorrent imagery and messaging that appeared in the post," the city of Sterling Heights said in a statement on Facebook. "It must be clear that there is no place for hateful and offensive content like that within our community.
Earlier this month, the LAPD launched a similar investigation after officers were reported to have allegedly shared a Valentine's Day-style graphic of George Floyd with the caption "You take my breath away," as previously reported.