The police chief of Overland Park, Kansas, has confirmed that one of his officers left a message on a Dallas woman’s Facebook page, threatening her 5-year-old daughter.
On July 7, the police officer, under the name "Rodney Lee," reportedly posted the following message beneath a photo LaNaydra Williams’ daughter:
“We’ll see how much her life matters soon.. better be careful leaving your info open where she can be found :) hold her close tonight, it’ll be the last time.”
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Williams and her daughter are black; Lee is white. The threatening comment was posted only a few hours after the heavily-reported assassination of five police officers during a demonstration in that city.
Overland Park Police Chief Francis Donchez Jr. said that the officer who posted the comment was immediately fired and that a criminal investigation into the matter has been launched, the Huffington Post reports.
The Overland Park Police elaborated in a public statement on Facebook:
This morning, the Overland Park Police Department received notification about a Facebook post, reportedly made by one of our officers’ from his personal Facebook account.
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"I immediately initiated an investigation into the officer’s actions and requested it be completed in a timely manner," said Police Chief Francis Donchez Jr.
During the investigation, by our Professional Standards Unit, we learned our officer did in fact make this post, Donchez said. It was obvious that our officer did not meet the standards of professionalism for the Overland Park Police Department. Overland Park has terminated the officer, effective immediately.
This quick action demonstrates our commitment to our core values including integrity and respect.
I want to assure our community, and those outside our community, that our highest priority is the safety and welfare of the citizens of Overland Park, and the men and women who protect everyone. I will continue to hold the employees of the Overland Park Police Department accountable for its actions on and off-duty.
Finally, I want to publicly apologize to those affected by our officer’s personal actions. His actions do not represent the Overland Park Police Department in anyway and no one should be subjected to any type of discrimination or this kind of behavior.
Williams told KSHB.com that she was “horrified” by the threatening Facebook post and said she was worried that the fired policeman might retaliate against her, the Daily Mail reports.