Teana Walsh, an assistant prosecutor in Wayne County, Detroit, handed in her resignation Friday after posting a call on Facebook for protesters in Baltimore to be shot.
The April 27 message read: "So I am watching the news in Baltimore and see large swarms of people throwing bricks etc at police who are fleeing from their assaults...15 in hospital already. Solution. Simple. Shoot em. Period. End of discussion. I don't care what causes the protestors to turn violent...what the ‘they did it because’ reason is...no way is this acceptable. Flipping disgusting."
The message apparently did not meet with universal opposition among her friends, with 15 of them reportedly liking the post.
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But it wasn’t long before the remarks came to the attention of Walsh's bosses, prompting the prosecutor’s office to release a statement aimed at damage control: “APA Teana Walsh is known for her great work ethic and her compassion for victims of crime and their families. Her post was up on line briefly and she immediately took it down. The post was completely out of character for her and certainly does not reflect the person that we know.”
Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said that disciplinary measures remained an internal matter. This statement was deemed inadequate by campaign groups.
Progress Michigan, an organization which aims to hold public officials accountable, put out a press release demanding more be done.
“Kym Worthy must conduct a thorough review of Walsh's conduct as a prosecutor and should lead a discussion on the issues of police violence in Detroit,” Lonnie Scott, executive director at Progress Michigan, said in the release. “For an assistant county prosecutor to call for the summary execution of disenfranchised and angered citizens shows she has little regard for justice or due process.”
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The comments come in a week during which tensions have been on the rise between the local community and the police. On top of the nationwide protests triggered by the death of Freddie Gray, an immigration and customs official shot dead a 20-year-old man in Detroit Monday. Local residents responded with a large protest.