An Oklahoma police officer was suspended in February for trying to raise money on behalf of the Special Olympics.
Officer Scott Gibbons made social media posts through his police department accounts to help fund the Special Olympics, KFOR reports.
He was then suspended, forced to turn in his police car, gun, badge and ID.
“Per my orders, I have and will be removing my association with my department from any online or printed materials,” Gibbons said.
Chief Scott Singer said explained Gibbons' posts violated the department's social media policy. Officers are forbidden from endorsing any social or religious issue unless authorized by the chief of police.
“It’s a matter of policy," he said. "It’s not a matter of his commitment, which I applaud, to a service agency such as Special Olympics."
Phil Wise, Gibbons' representative for the Fraternal Order of Police, says this has never been a problem before.
“There has never been an issue with him using the city’s logo and the police department stuff,” Wise said. “It’s tough on a guy, who that gave his heart and soul to his city, to have that happen.”
Some say this is unfair and are outraged.
“There’s always some cops who do bad things on social media, and they get in trouble, which is fine, but this is a good thing, and we feel he should not have been punished for that at all,” said Wise.
Gibbons' supporters have launched a Change.org petition calling for the police chief to resign. It had more than 1,500 signatures within a few days of posting.
"The FOP is stumped as to why the Piedmont Police Department would not want its officers participating in the Special Olympics,” the petition reads.
In addition to finding the suspension unjust, the petition explains it is a waste of resources.
”Even assuming Gibbons was somehow in error by participating in the Special Olympics, placing him on suspended status is callously extreme; it leaves the department shorthanded which causes overtime expenses and an overall decrease in police services to the community,” it reads.