A Roanoke, Virginia, police lieutenant was placed on unpaid leave after posting “disparaging and insensitive” comments on social media.
Lt. B.C. Booth posted the comments to his personal Facebook page in response to a video of a woman walking on an American flag as part of a social media challenge in support of a Georgia college student wanted by police.
“Where has this country gone???” Booth wrote. “Bet she doesn’t mind taking that government check every month. I expect this in Afghanistan or other foreign soils but not here.”
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Roanoke Police Chief Chris Perkins responded to the incident with a statement announcing Booth’s suspension, adding that the comments were not a reflection of the police department as a whole.
"The Roanoke Police Department is responding to disparaging and insensitive remarks on a social media post made by an employee on April 30, 2015," Perkins’ statement read. "Chief Chris Perkins took immediate administrative action against Lieutenant B.C. Booth, the author of the remarks. The remarks were made on one of the employee's personal social media pages."
"The department has policies in place involving employee conduct," the statement continued. "The Professional Standards Unit will conduct a thorough review of the incident and present its findings to the Citizens Disciplinary Review Board. Due to this involving a personnel issue, and the employee's right to due process, the department will follow policy and address this matter appropriately.”
According to reports, the Roanoke Police Department was made aware of the comments after community organizer Sharrieff Perdue, with the Community Outreach and Revitalization Organization, sent a screenshot of the post.
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“We will not tolerate this,” Perdue said. “We have a voice now, and we’re going to be that voice.”
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