Sharon Coolidge, Mark Curnutte and Bob Strickley, The Cincinnati Enquirer
A Facebook post from a black officer in this city’s police department is under review Thursday after the officer commented that white officers are “looking for a reason to kill a black man.”
It wasn’t immediately known when Freddie Vincent made the post, which appears to be a comment on another person’s observations. Vincent’s profile lists his hometown as Winnfield, La. about 150 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, but does not say he works for the Cincinnati Police Department.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac said the comments were being looked at under the department’s social-media rules. Isaac did not say whether Vincent had been given a reduction in duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
Since the fatal shootings of law-enforcement officers July 7 in Dallas; July 11 in St. Joseph, Mich.; and Sunday in Baton Rouge, emotions have been running high. And police departments across the USA have received complaints from the public about the personal postings of some officers, both black and white.
But how departments react to the complaints has been inconsistent:
- In Nashville, the police chief has made two officers give up their badges and guns while an internal-affairs investigation is conducted.
- In Seattle, the head of the police union quit as president of his organization but the police chief did not indicate whether he would face inquiry or disciplinary action on the job.
- In Detroit, the police chief demoted a detective then launched an internal investigation.
- In Memphis, the police chief suspended two officers during an investigation but refused to identify them publicly.
“Yep it has made world wide news now…A message to all my Afro America friends and family. When you are encountered by a white officer make sure that you are in a public place, and comply to all their commands, because they are looking for a reason to kill a black man,” read the post from Vincent, first reported by WXIX-TV, Cincinnati, and since deleted. “And always keep your hands in the air, and never resist. I’m so tired of cops using these famous words ‘I was in fear of my life.’ I’m praying for Louisiana that could have been my nephew in B.R.”
A little more than a year ago, a white University of Cincinnati police officer killed Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man who was father to 13 children. The now-former officer who shot him, Ray Tensing, is scheduled to go on trial here Oct. 24.
Isaac, who issued a statement in connection with Thursday’s action, said he wanted to be transparent and accountable in this investigation.
“I am proud of the work of the men and women of the Cincinnati Police Department and our efforts to work collaboratively with the community,” he said. But on Thursday at a forum on police-community relations he did say he thought that the department had racism in its ranks.
Read more at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/07/21/cincinnati-police-officer-facebook/87410650/