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A Michigan police officer has been put on administrative leave after auser brought his allegedly racist comments on social media to the attention of the officer's police commissioner.
On Tuesday, Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer announced the officer, who made the posts on his personal Facebook profile while off-duty, has been placed on leave and the department is investigating the allegations.
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"This incident involves alleged comments posted to Facebook by an off-duty officer using his personal Facebook profile. Upon being made aware of the allegation, the Warren Police Department immediately launched an internal investigation and placed the officer on administrative leave," Dwyer said in a statement. "The Warren Police Department does not condone the use of racist comments by any employees, whether on duty or off duty."
While the department did not provide details of the Facebook exchange, local media reports said Dwyer had been contacted by someone who interacted with the officer online and took screenshots of the communication before alerting authorities.
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Tamia Brooks told WDIV-TV she saw a now-deleted post by the officer in which he allegedly claimed that Black people are the most racist in the world, Black on Black crime is beyond repair and that Black men don't support their children, before ending the post by saying he was glad he was not Black because he would have killed himself.
Brooks said she was so shocked by the post that she looked the man up online, only to discover he works for the Warren police department.
"I was like 'Wow, he really said all this stuff and he really thinks this,'" she said. "This is a cop. You are supposed to protect us. I don't know if it's just him who really thinks this about us."
Brooks said the Warren police department was responsive and got back to her immediately when she sent the screenshots to them on Monday. A day later, the department took action against the alleged offending officer.
Dwyer said it was important for the department to investigate the matter in order to maintain public trust in law enforcement.
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"Statements like this erode civilian trust and confidence in the police department and are not tolerated," the police commissioner said in the Tuesday statement. "This allegation is serious and will be thoroughly investigated in accordance with Warren Police Department procedures and the officer's collective bargaining agreement."
"The alleged views expressed by the officer do not align with mission, goals, and philosophy of the Warren Police Department and in no way reflect on the views of the 200-plus members of the Warren Police Department," Dwyer added.
Newsweek reached out to Dwyer for further comment but did not hear back before publication.
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