A Las Vegas police detective will keep his job despite drawing criticism from colleagues and local activists for his online posts about a “race war” and anti-government rhetoric, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Some of Detective Bobby Kinch’s co-workers reportedly brought the December 2013 Facebook posts to the attention of superiors. Kinch told the Sun that he was the victim of department politics. He was recently allowed to go back on duty following an extended suspension and internal investigation.
“Let’s just get this over!” Kinch wrote in one post. “Race war, Civil, Revolution? Bring it! I’m about as fed up as a man (American, Christian, White, Heterosexual) can get!”
At least one colleague later compared Kinch’s statements to the kind of posts made by Jerad and Amanda Miller before they shot and killed two LVPD officers in June 2014.
“It’s obviously coming to a boiling point! I say ‘F*CK IT’!” Kinch stated in another angry post. “I’m ready now! Sooner or later, I would say sooner than later! Thought I could make a difference, thought it would get better! See the morale fabric of this Country get so trampled I wanna call it! GAME ON! I think we need a cleansing! Just me? What say you?”
Several of Kinch’s fellow detectives expressed concern over the posts at the time, with one asking him not to share his views on “this stupid thing called Facebook.”
“You’ve lost your mind,” Detective Joe Giannone responded. “This may be the dumbest sh*t you’ve ever posted. That’s saying a lot.”
Deputy Chief Gary Schofield, former head of the department’s internal affairs division, alerted the Secret Service the following month regarding his online activity, allegedly saying that “a highly-trained officer in Las Vegas with access to weapons could be a threat to the president.”
But former Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie stepped in less than an hour before federal officials raided Kinch’s home.
“It was about to be a disaster,” one police official told the Sun. “We had 30 minutes until doors were being kicked in.”
The Sun also reported that Kinch conducted an investigation in 2007 on his own concerning the death of his mother after a robbery. Kinch reportedly believes a “Black gang” killed her, despite a lack of evidence suggesting that the attacker was either Black or in a gang. A department spokesperson said the case is currently cold.
“Everybody liked Bobby,” a fellow officer said. “But whatever happened to his mother affected him to the point where I’m not sure he should be on the street interacting with citizens.”
Investigators looking into Kinch’s case also received a photo, taken by an unidentified union official, of Kinch pointing a handgun at a collectible plate with President Barack Obama’s face on it. The plate was reportedly a gag gift from fellow officers.
Kinch said that officers with “an ax to grind” targeted him after he complained about union leaders appearing at a election party for new Sheriff Joe Lombardo. The union official, Kinch told the Sun, intentionally held on to the picture before using it to try to discredit him. Kinch also insisted that his posts were taken out of context, and that he would focus future posts on gun-control legislation and the alleged “knockout game” targeting people in New York City.
“I didn’t call for a race war,” he said. “I said, ‘If there was going to be one.’ I didn’t want there to be one. That comment had nothing to do with a particular race. I said all races. That’s why it flies in the face of common sense to make that jump.”
But one officer who asked to remain anymous told the Sun that keeping Kinch on the job cost the department a chance to “do the right thing.”
“It would have been the easiest thing in the world to say, ‘Look, you’re upset with what’s going on in Ferguson? Well, we had an officer here that did this crap, and we fired him,'” the officer said. “But we dropped the ball.”
Laura Martin, a member of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, also expressed her doubts about Kinch’s ability to serve the public, calling his posts “incredibly scary.”
“There are a lot of good cops, but some of them have really bad attitudes [toward minorities],” she said. “They aren’t mentally there. It would be a service to the public if you don’t have a sociopath with weapons going into people’s houses and pulling people over.”
[h/t Talking Points Memo]