UPDATE: Louisville Metro Corrections suspends sergeant accused of sharing controversial Facebook post
The Louisville Metro Corrections sergeant who apparently shared a controversial Facebook post on his personal Facebook page has been suspended, according to a news release from the Louisville Department of Corrections.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Metro Corrections sergeant who apparently shared a controversial Facebook post on his personal Facebook page has been suspended, according to a news release from the Louisville Department of Corrections.
"If we really wanted you dead all we’d have to do is stop patrolling your neighborhoods," reads the post shared by Sgt. Derek Hale on Monday. "And wait."
At the top of the post, which has a picture of a white police officer leaning against a cruiser, Hale wrote, "Ha … truth." Hale posted it on his personal account.
On Wednesday afternoon, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections Director Mark Bolton suspended Hale and initiated an investigation into whether he violated the Metro Corrections Employee Code of Ethics and Conduct policy, according to a news release.
“Every day the men and women of Metro Corrections work to strengthen race relations in this community," said Bolton in a written statement. "Sgt. Hale’s social media decision has hurt those good efforts. This nation is in the midst of an agitated and inflamed public reaction to police shootings of black men. A Metro Corrections Sergeant made a conscious decision to use social media to react to this national outrage. Sgt. Hale had an obligation to use social media in a way that does not bring discredit to Metro Corrections. I will use every measure to protect the integrity of Metro Corrections and my staff. I have taken direct action in response to what Sgt. Hale had done. Today I suspended Sgt. Hale and I have directed an expedited internal investigation into Sgt. Hale’s conduct."
The post had already stirred controversy. On Wednesday morning, Sadiqa N. Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, issued a written statement.
"A corrections officer with this attitude poses a danger to our community and to his colleagues and they should not be silent," wrote Reynolds. "The idea that this would even be in his private thoughts makes it clear that at this point he is not worthy of the uniform."
Hale’s Facebook profile says he went to Pleasure Ridge Park High School and studied at the "University of The Smartest People on the Planet."
The city employee salary database shows Hale's salary as $49,171.
Several community members expressed outrage on social media and shared the post along with phone numbers to reach Metro Corrections officials.
Louisville officials, law enforcement and community activists have called on the city to band together after the shooting of the two black men and shootings in Dallas that left five police officers dead and six injured.
The full text of Reynolds' statement is below:
Statement by Louisville Urban League President & CEO
Like many in our community, we are deeply troubled by the offensive Facebook posting of Sergeant Derek Hale, with Louisville Metro Corrections. This is the type of sentiment and rhetoric that has brought us to a tipping point in this country and many of us to our knees and to the streets. At this national moment, when we all need to be more reflective and humane across lines of race, it is impossible to see how someone in his position of leadership would not understand how such an approach reduces us all.
A corrections officer with this attitude poses a danger to our community and to his colleagues and they should not be silent. The idea that this would even be in his private thoughts makes it clear that at this point he is not worthy of the uniform.
Approximately 89% of blacks killed are killed by other blacks and 82% of whites are killed by other whites, so black people have no monopoly on crime. This concept of black on black crime is just a manipulation used to paint blacks as less than human and reinforces the notion that our lives don’t matter, and his posting implies, not even to us. We support good law enforcement officials, those that are free from the implicit and insidious bias exposed here.
As President of the Louisville Urban League, an affiliate of the National Urban League, one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the country, I trust Director Bolton and city officials will handle this expeditiously and with the care and introspection that it warrants.
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