An Ohio police officer has been suspended for making a Facebook post on department time — but not for the apparent racial slur he used in the message.
Sgt. Robert Biddle, of Shreve police, insists he meant nothing racist by complaining last week about “monkeys” in the social media post, reported WEWS-TV.
“Been at work for ONE HOUR and the monkeys have already exceeded their limit of snark I’m gonna take for the night,” Biddle posted. “PUMP THE BRAKES, MONKEYS!”
The post was shared hundreds of times, but Biddle said his choice of words was not intended to be racist.
“I call my wife monkey,” Biddle said. “Unfortunately, it’s a term I’m going to have to learn not to use. I’ve learned now, the timing was really bad.”
His boss, Chief Ron Kiner, said he believes the 11-year department veteran.
“I’m sure there was nothing racist meant by that post, because he’s just not like that,” Kiner said. “During the 11 years I’ve worked with him, I’ve never heard him make a racial slur and we’ve never had a complaint.”
But Biddle was placed on indefinite unpaid suspension, anyway, for using social media during his paid shift and complaining about his job duties.
The only call Biddle responded to during that shift was a white woman who complained of abdominal pain.
Mayor Yvonne Hendershott said the village would investigate the post further, but she doesn’t believe the message was intended to be racist.
“I think it all got blown out of proportion because of everything that was going on in the world,” Hendershott said. “I have zero tolerance for that. If I even had an inkling that it was (racist), he would have been gone, but I’m 100 percent sure it wasn’t.”
Biddle has no disciplinary actions in his personnel file, and he told the TV station he was sorry for his post.
“I am sorry, I really am,” Biddle said. “It wasn’t meant to come off that way. I’m not that kind of person, and I’m sorry that I’ve hurt people in this. But please give some benefit of the doubt that I’m telling the truth.”