A police officer in Kansas City, Mo., is in potential hot water with his department for posting a picture and inflammatory commentary about the Michael Brown shooting case that included a murder suspect from another state.
According to KCTV Channel 5, Kansas City police Officer Marc Catron used Facebook to post the picture of the accused killer — a 17-year-old from Oregon named Joda Cain — with money stuffed in his mouth and a gun in his hand with the words, “I’m sure young Michael Brown is innocent and just misunderstood. I’m sure he is a pillar of the Ferguson community.”
Other Facebook users reposted the photo, KCTV reported, including to the station’s own website.
Another Catron post about the violence racking Ferguson, Mo., recalled the O.J. Simpson trial’s end in 1995.
“Remember how white people rioted after OJ’s acquittal? Me neither.”
The police department told KCTV it is investigating whether the officer violated department policies regarding social media, which state department employees are allowed to express their opinions as individuals, but should not post materials that “ridicule, malign, disparage or otherwise express bias [against] any race, any religion or other protected class of individuals.”
KCTV said it could not reach Catron for comment.
Check out the KCTV report here.
Twitter users were surprisingly uniform in condemning the posting.
— Steven Scales (@iamstevenscales) August 19, 2014
Nothing is more predictable than the fake photo of shooting victim spreading on social media part of the show. http://t.co/PQNUWOyZRU
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) August 19, 2014
But at least one was troubled by the apparent willingness of a police department to investigate an employee for solely private activity.
@TPM where does line b/w free speech and speech meriting sanction belong? SM creates whole new set of questions about speech and restraint
— Chris (@mchallamlaw) August 19, 2014
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