The Baton Rouge police officer who resigned after racist text messages he had sent were discovered was allowed to file departure paperwork indicating that he had retired, The Advocate reports.
The texts authored by Michael Elsbury state that "I wish someone would pull a Ferguson on them and take them out. I hate looking at those African monkeys at work," "I enjoy arresting those thugs with their saggy pants," and "They are nothing but a bunch of monkeys."
When news of them came to light, Elsbury tendered his resignation. However, after the furor over his texts died down, he was allowed to alter the reason for his departure to "retirement."
When the Baton Rouge Metro Council learned of this "soft exit," members were not pleased. "I don’t want him at any police department in the United States of America," said Councilwoman Tara Wicker.
"He just needs to find another line of work."
Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said that Elsbury was allowed to make the change because it would expedite his departure from the department. Had he been fired, that would have opened the door to potential appeals, as well lawsuits in state district courts. Dabadie also noted that he would have been eligible to receive a pension even if he had been fired, as he had accrued 14 years on the force.
Kathy Bourque, director of the Municipal Police Employees Retirement System, backed Dabadie up, noting that even convicted criminals are eligible to receive retirement benefits if they are vested in the system.
"We send benefit checks to prison," she said.
Watch video of Dabadie explaining the department's decision to the Metro Council via The Advocate below.