Pleasantville, NY – Once again readers, we stand at the crossroads of freedom of expression, threats against a public figure, poor taste, and stupidity. A police officer allegedly made some not-so-nice comments about President Obama on Facebook, and is facing suspension, accusations of racism, the whole gamut.
“The fact that he (Obama) is still alive bewilders me,” Officer Peter Burns supposedly wrote in a post obtained by The Journal News. “Go die in a shallow grave you Muslim commie …”
The entire rant (which Journal News neglected to show) was posted to a page supposedly operated by Burns under the potentially insensitive name “Coon Trapper.”
It also reportedly contained a racial slur, a reference to “1st amendment NSA” (whatever that means) and called President Obama “un-American.”
A reporter with Journal News showed a screencap of the post to Police Chief Richard Love on Monday, and Burns was immediately placed on administrative leave. Pending an internal investigation, he could be fired.
The reporter did not detail how he was able to access the posts, since Burns’ page is set to private so only friends can see it.
Police Chief Love called Burns’ comments “despicable” and “totally unacceptable,” and added that they “will not be tolerated.” The department doesn’t have a social media use policy.
Stories like this one pop up all the time, so it can be easy to lump them all together with a bit of charged phrasing. Indeed, Journal News’ Richard Liebson, who broke this story, is remarkably short on key details and relies a lot on reader trust that this post was, like, really really bad, guys.
We’re not trying to call anybody out here, I more or less trust that the people involved are doing their jobs, and hopefully without an agenda. Still, I can’t help but desire a bit more to sink my teeth into with this story. Liebson, send us the screencap you got. We’ll publish it if your editorial controls prevent you from doing so.
In other news, remember Everest Wilhelmsen, the Christian Patriots Militia guy who allegedly threatened President Obama, Congress, and the whole lot on his Facebook page? I’ve actually been trading emails with him lately in an effort to figure him out. I haven’t fully decided whether to profile him or not, so stay tuned.