Louisville Corrections FOP president releases statement supporti - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Corrections FOP president releases statement supporting due process of officer suspended

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One day after a Louisville Metro Corrections officer was suspended for a Facebook post attributed to his account, the Louisville Corrections Fraternal Order of Police released a statement in support of Sgt. Derek Hale. 

The post that prompted the suspension was a meme with an image of someone dressed as a police officer standing next to a patrol car with the caption: "If we really wanted you dead all we’d have to do is stop patrolling your neighborhoods. And wait."

Hale allegedly wrote: "Ha … truth." before sharing it on his personal account on Monday. 

On Wednesday, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections Director Mark Bolton suspended Hale and started an investigation into whether he violated the Metro Corrections Employee Code of Ethics and Conduct policy. In a news release, Bolton stated: 

Every day the men and women of Metro Corrections work to strengthen race relations in this community. 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."

On Thursday, Tracy Dotson, president of the Louisville Department of Metro Corrections FOP Lodge #77, released a statement calling for the public to reserve judgment until the facts have been determined and Hale has had his day in court:

Louisville Corrections Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #77 represents the sworn staff of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. The ranks of LMDC are filled with outstanding servants of public safety, dedicated to the public trust. The Fraternal Order of Police recognizes and encourages the need for accountability in the service of that trust.

Every citizen is entitled to due process and a fair hearing concerning matters alleged against them. The Fraternal Order of Police whole heartedly supports the due process for Sergeant Derek Hale and is representing him to our fullest capability. 

Hale's post has stirred controversy. On Wednesday morning, Sadiqa N. Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, issued a written statement that read in part: "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."

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