Portland Police Officer John Hurlman was pulled off street patrol after he posted a derogatory tweet about having to work late on Nov. 27 to cover a Black Lives Matter, Not Black Friday march.
Hurlman wrote on Twitter: "Black Lives Matter is planning to protest at Lloyd Center on black Friday. Oh joy, stuck late again at work to babysit these fools," notes OregonLive.com.
Hurlman deleted the tweet, but not before screenshots were made by other users.
Portland Acting Police Chief Donna Henderson said in a press release on Nov. 24 that an investigation into the tweet had begun.
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"This post is in no way a reflection of how members of the Portland Police Bureau view these community groups or their peaceful expression of free speech," Henderson stated. "Just as with any protest or demonstration, police will work to ensure a safe, secure and orderly event for all community members and to minimize disruptions to traffic."
Hurlman has not commented on the situation, but his wife Christy told KGW.com in a statement:
Yes, the officer who posted this tweet is my husband. So let me clarify that he has spent 25 years serving the City of Portland and her citizens, and has done so because he is a good man with a good heart.
Of course he would protect anyone's right to free speech and protest. Black Lives Matter is a movement created to give voice to racism, and of course anti-racist discussions are valid and important.
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It was not his intention to belittle their cause. He was simply lamenting that although free speech and peaceful assembly are important, at his age and with teenage children and a wife at home, having the energy to protect an assembly where the issue of racism is the topic, especially racism involving the profession and difficulty of the job, it can be draining to have to defend the actions of other officers we do not know.
Portland can be assured, however, that the many men and women I know who serve this city, care a great deal about everyone's life. It is a profession that requires compassion, without that trait, it would be too long and too hard of a career.