A police officer in St. Paul, Minnesota has been suspended for making the following insane Facebook post:
St. Paul and Minneapolis (the twin cities) have seen a sharp rise in protest activity related to the Black Lives Matter movement (in fact, I’d previously written about it, when a Minneapolis Councilwoman “outed” those who had sent her critical correspondence as a result of her attendance at a Black Lives Matter protest). That was the impetus for Sgt. Jeffrey Rothecker making the above post, which suggests that protesters be run over and then gives advise on how to best handle the aftermath of said murder attempt.
Sgt. Rothecker was posting under a pseudonym, but the post was obviously traced back to him, and the results were predictable: The Sergeant was suspended. In a statement, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said:
“I am outraged and disgusted by the post and have directed the SPPD to investigate. That investigation is currently underway.
“Chief Smith and I are committed to building strong, trusting relationships with the communities we serve.
“There is no room in the Saint Paul Police Department for employees who threaten members of the public. If the allegation is true, we will take the strongest possible action allowed under law.
As always, using social media to incite violence is always an absolutely terrible thing. I suspect that Sgt. Rothecker believed himself to be at least somewhat protected, since he was using a pseudonym. It has been said before, and clearly, needs to be said again: There is no such thing as anonymity or privacy online. Things you say can always be tracked back to you, and clearly, that is exactly what happened here.