A Florida police department has fired a 20-year veteran of the department for making what it deemed to be racist comments on Facebook.
In a letter obtained by WPLG News and dated June 11, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department notified Officer Jeffrey Feldewert, 45, that, “effective immediately, your leave with pay will be changed to suspension with pay for 20 days, and your dismissal from city service will be effective at the close of business on July 10, 2015.”
The letter, signed by Police Chief Franklin Adderley, referenced a Facebook post made by Feldewert in December 2014, which included a photograph of a black man being arrested by white police officers.
“Typical hoodrat behavior,” Feldewert reportedly wrote in the post that accompanied the photo. The picture itself carried a caption that read, “BLACK PEOPLE. Because without them, the evening news wouldn't be as much fun to watch,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.
It’s unclear how the department became aware of the Facebook post, but the the agency launched an investigation into the matter on April 22, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The department reportedly suspended Feldewert with pay while the investigation took place until Adderley sent the letter informing the officer of his termination.
Adderley’s letter added that Feldewert’s post displayed a lack of judgment, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Others, posting on Facebook, reportedly seemed to share the chief’s concerns.
According to the letter, one person responding to Feldewert’s post wrote, “I hope you are not a cop as well because you have a strong opinion about an entire race which I can only imagine clouds your judgment. SAD!”
Adderley also criticized Feldewert’s Facebook profile picture which depicted a skull with the department’s badge and the words “SAVAGE HUNTER” underneath. The picture, “reflects a negative image of our agency,” the letter read.
Feldewert reportedly declined to comment Monday when asked by the Sun-Sentinel.
Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. Mike Tucker, who is vice president of the police union’s local, said the Fraternal Order of Police is working to help Feldewert get his job back.
“We did file an appeal for his reinstatement, but I can't comment further pending the outcome of the appeal,” Tucker told the Sun-Sentinel.
Photo Credit: Facebook via Sun-Sentinel