LMPD officer suspended for 30 days over comments made on personal Facebook page
Detective Ryan Scanlan has been suspended without pay for 30 days and demoted
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Louisville Metro Police officer has been suspended 30 days and demoted for controversial Facebook posts he shared in the wake of protests following police shootings of two black men earlier this year.
Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a statement that Officer Ryan Scanlan’s postings “brought discredit” to the officer and “had a negative impact on the efficient operations of our department.
“This conduct has hurt relationships within our community and damaged the image of the Louisville Metro Police Department.”
The 30-day suspension is the department's most severe discipline short of termination. Scanlan was also removed from his detective position and transferred to a uniformed patrol assignment.
In the statement, Conrad said he does not typically comment publicly on disciplinary action, but “the media attention and public interest warranted explanation of my actions.”
Scanlan shared several controversial posts on his personal Facebook page, including a meme that pictured a white police officer leaning against his cruiser that said: "If we really wanted you dead all we'd have to do is stop patrolling your neighborhoods. …. And wait."
Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton suspended Sgt. Derek Hale for the same post in July, saying it was "associated with blatant racial bias."
In late July, a judge ordered Scanlan to testify in a criminal trial about his posts. He testified that the meme he shared was directed to “the citizens of the united states of America.”
“So it’s not directed to anybody in particular?” defense attorney Clay Kennedy asked at the time. “No racial group?”
“Absolutely not,” Scanlan responded. “You take any neighborhood in America and if they realize the police are not patrolling, crime would go through the roof.”
Scanlan acknowledged in court that he shared several memes on his Facebook page.
Among them was one about the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Has it occurred to anyone that if you're able to organize this many people for a protest" the meme starts, with the words on top of a picture of dozens of black people holding a Black Lives Matter banner. "You can organize this many people to clean up your community and get rid of the criminal element causing the problem."
Kennedy asked Scanlan if everyone in the photo was black. The officer said he couldn’t determine that. He also said he didn’t know when he shared either of the memes.
In another post, Scanlan shared a meme headlined, "It’s NOT about color. It’s about the law."
The image featured a series of crudely-drawn figures of people depicting what happens to someone if they don’t move when if an officer tells them to "stop."
If a person stops, the result is getting handcuffed, according to the meme.
But the image associated with not stopping is different. It shows what appears to be a police officer getting attacked, followed by the figure of someone lying on the ground bleeding with three holes in the body and a caricature of an officer handcuffing the person.
"If you understand this … please share. If you are still confused … please keep studying it."
Scanlan said his wife took down his Facebook page.
The posts from Scanlan came just days after Louisville officials, law enforcement and community activists called on the city to band together following the shooting of the two black men and sniper shootings in Dallas that left five police officers dead and six injured.
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