The Secret Service is investigating an Arizona police officer over a picture he posted on Facebook that appeared to show President Barack Obama riddled with bullets.
Peoria’s Sgt. Pat Shearer admitted to KNXV that he took the photo of several young men — possibly minors — posing with guns and an Obama “Hope” T-shirt that had been destroyed by gunfire. The photo went viral after Shearer posted it to his Facebook page.
“Another trip to the ranch,” read the caption on the photo, according to Phoenix New Times. Comments on the photo included, “Damn it feels good to be a gangsta,” and, “They look like Gangsta’s huh?”
Two of the young men are holding what appears to be assault rifles and another is sporting a pistol.
“I don’t think that the shooting of that T-shirt is that big of a deal,” Shearer said. “It was more of a political statement.”
“It’s not like they were going to go out and shoot the president,” he added.
The officer has since removed the offending photo from his Facebook page.
“We received information about a possible policy violation today involving one of our employees,” Peoria Police spokesman Jay Davies told KPHO. “We were contacted by the Secret Service.”
Peoria police are investigating whether Shearer violated their social media policy, which says, “posting information regarding off-duty activity that may tend to bring an officer’s reputation into question is strongly discouraged.”
Shearer has been with the department for 14 years and remains on duty.
Watch this video from KPHO and KNXV, broadcast Jan. 27, 2012.