An Oregon police department is in damage control mode as a result of one officer’s reckless social media conduct.
West Linn police officer Tom Newberry was placed on administrative leave last Thursday as department officials investigate a series of threatening messages posted on the cop’s Facebook page earlier this month, the New York Daily News reports.
Newberry appears to encourage acts of violence toward Black Lives Matter demonstrators in each of the damning posts, which were captured by NBC affiliate KGW.
On July 13, the officer shared a teaparty.org article warning readers of a so-called “Day of Rage” planned by BLM protesters. Above the story he wrote, “So Day of target practice?”
He had this advice for motorists the day before, in response to a write-up taken from former U.S. House representative and current conservative commentator Allen B. West’s official website: “When encountering such mobs remember, there are 3 pedals on your floor. Push the right one all the way down.”
That article was about BLM crowds blocking roadways.
And on July 10, he provided a link to a racially charged piece titled, “Screw ‘white guilt’ – drivers show ‘Black Lives Matter’ that they shouldn’t block traffic.”
The graphic accompanying the image shows several African-Americans being run over by vehicles.
Newberry simply captioned, “I’ll just leave this right here.”
Department Lt. Mike Stradley said that while a violation of the agency’s social media policy was “certainly” possible, officials had to take the cop’s rights to free speech into account.
“It’s important we do this correctly,” Stradley told KGW, adding that he found one of the comments “incredibly embarrassing for a police officer.”
“To say the least, I am extremely disappointed if those were in fact his posts, and I don’t take my officers posting stuff like that lightly. To be honest, it pisses me off,” Police Chief Terry Timeus said, per The Oregonian.
It was the latest example of Internet-based police misconduct following the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead and seven injured during a peaceful BLM march in the city.