A New York City-area police officer could be fired after posting an obscene, racist and threatening rant against President Barack Obama on social media.
Officer Peter Burns, of Pleasantville police, was accused of making the comments Dec. 11 on a Facebook page he operated under the name “Coon Trapper.”
“The fact that he (Obama) is still alive bewilders me,” Burns allegedly wrote in the post. “Go die in a shallow grave you Muslim commie.”
After a reporter with The Journal News showed the post to Police Chief Richard Love on Monday, he promised to take immediate action.
Burns was placed on administrative leave Tuesday and relieved of his duties, and Love said the officer could be fired or disciplined after an internal affairs investigation was completed.
The chief called the statements “despicable” and “totally unacceptable,” adding that they “will not be tolerated.”
The 35-year-old Burns posted photos of himself in camouflage and hunting gear on the Facbook page, which was deleted Tuesday morning, and posted links to hunting and animal trapping websites.
The page was set up as private, so only his Facebook friends could see his posts, and the reporter did not indicate how he gained access to the posts.
Love said his department did not have a policy on social media use, but this incident – and similar ones nearby and across the country – could prompt a change.
Three police officers in Harrison, New York, also in Westchester County, were suspended and demoted in 2009 after making lewd comments about a city supervisor and exchanging racist jokes about the president.
New York City police suspended 17 officers last year for racist and offensive comments on a Facebook page set up for the city’s 2011 West Indian Day Parade.
A southwestern Indiana volunteer fire chief resigned last week after making racist comments and promoting the Ku Klux Klan on his Facebook page.
Pleasantville police were accused of racism after the October 2010 shooting death of Danroy Henry, a black Pace University football player, by Officer Aaron Hess, who is white.
The case resulted in a number of lawsuits, but a grand jury cleared all officers involved of criminal wrongdoing.
The 20-person police department includes on black officer, one Hispanic officer and two women officers.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.