Chelan County, WA — The Chelan County Sheriff's Office issued an apology this week after they say an employee 'accidentally' made a post of a meme to their Chelan County Emergency Management Facebook page depicting protesters getting mowed down by a car.
The tasteless post wrote, "I don't wish harm on anyone...but protesters don't belong in the road!" with an illustration below that said "All lives splatter ... nobody cares about your protest." It comes only weeks after Alex Fields drove into a crowd in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer.
After making the post, it was deleted and Sheriff Brian Burnett wrote an apology noting that the employee had accidentally shared the post.
Earlier this date, the Chelan County emergency management Facebook page displayed an inappropriate post, which had been sent to a noncommissioned employee's personal account. The employee accidentally "shared" the post onto the emergency management's Facebook page. Staff at Chelan County emergency management feel terrible that this inappropriate and hurtful post made it onto the Facebook page. The posting was removed as soon as staff realized the error. Changes have already been made in procedure to assure nothing like this will occur in the future. This post does not reflect the views of the Sheriff's office and we trust the public will continue to follow us during emergency situations on our Chelan County emergency management Facebook page.
Anyone who runs a page knows that posts must be shared to specific pages or your profile. Sharing a post to one's personal profile does not automatically post it to a page managed by that person. However, that is what Chelan county is claiming.
Proving the point of those outraged by this post, the person managing the Chelan County page admitted to posting it on their personal profile and was entirely unapologetic about it.
Naturally, people have free speech and should be able to post whatever they want, however they want. In fact, police officers should definitely be able to do so—this way there'd be no doubt about their intentions.
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While the apology and removal of the post have appeased the apologists, others are not buying it, however. Even police supporters have come out to denounce the "accident."
"Good job making every cop look like a Nazi. And thanks for making every tour that much more difficult for every cop in the country," one user wrote.
"'I'm appalled that the Chelan County Emergency Services employees people who harbor such bigotry & hatred. Since James Alex Fields is at this moment rotting in a jail cell for this very heinous crime, I don't find this one bit amusing. Neither I am sure would Heather Heyer's family & friends. Loosing Heather touched our entire nation. To have this cartoon flashed on FB made my blood boil. I personally hope whoever posted it will loose their job. Anyone who would casually jest about this serious crime after Heather's death needs to be fired," another user wrote.
"There are just some people that do not have the temperament to be in a position related to law enforcement. One of your own demonstrated that by the horrible meme he passed on regarding running over demonstrators. Not only did he show a lack of competence by mixing up his own private page with this page (Face Booking on the job?) but he showed his true colors towards a large segment of the population. This person simply is not fit to serve anywhere within law enforcement or community service," another post to the Chelan County Facebook page read.
In spite of the claims by the sheriff that the post didn't reflect the views of the Sheriff's Office, the admission of the post and lack of apology by the person who posted it says otherwise.
While this post is particularly atrocious, it should come as no surprise. In fact, as TFTP has previously reported, only days after Heyers was murdered in Charlottesville, a cop took to Facebook to praise it.
On an article titled, “HORROR: Car Plows Into Protesters In Charlottesville; One Dead, 19 Injured,” Springfield officer Conrad Lariviere responded with a comment that said, “Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block roads.”
One of the most recent posts to the department's page summed up the entire debacle perfectly.