Little Rock Police Department fires black recruit over hip-hop lyrics posted on her Facebook page — nine years ago
Two weeks before she was to graduate, a black 25-year-old woman seeking to become a Little Rock police officer has been fired after officials were alerted to some hip-hop lyrics she posted to her Facebook page when she was 16-years-old.
According to WAVY, Katrina Jones posted lyrics to a song by Lil Wayne that contained a racial slur that officials stated is offensive to black people.
Her attorney, Robert Newcomb, explained that the young woman posted the lyrics when she was still in high school and that she was turned in by another black recruit who had a friend break into her Facebook account that had been set to private.
That other recruit, Brandon Gurley, had already been dismissed for lying and inappropriate social media posts.
According to Jones’ attorney, the police officials called her in, pointed out the offensive word and fired her based on their social media policy.
“They said, ‘Well, you didn’t clear everything out and you had that offensive word. You’re fired,'” Newcomb explained.
“Do we judge the chief and others by the type of music they listen to?,” Newcomb asked. “What they need to learn from the absurd position taken by the Little Rock Police Department is that they need to just do away with it [Facebook profile] and give up that [First Amendment] right.”
The attorney states that the department may have broken the law by using the information acquired by hacking into her account.
“She made her account private and Mr. Gurley admitted he had a friend that knew how to break in to it,” Newcomb said. “That’s how he got it and sent it to the police department.”
“The city justifiably wants more African Americans, and here was an African American female that they invested thousands and thousands of dollars who was doing well,” Newcomb continued, adding that his client may sue for reinstatement.
Jones is the third recruit in her class to be fired, which includes Gurley and Brandon Schiefelbein, a white recruit who was dismissed over a 2013 Facebook post stating, “Go night night n*gga. Go night night,” alongside a picture of a friend.