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Video: California Officer Placed on Leave After Controversial Tweets

December 16, 2014  | 

VIDEO: Califonia Officer Placed on Leave After Controversial Tweets

The San Jose (Calif.) Police Department has placed a veteran officer on leave and is investigating threatening comments from his Twitter account about demonstrators involved in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner protests.

The officer, who has been on the force 20 years, was placed on administrative leave after tweets captured by BuzzFeed News were published over the weekend. He wrote, "If anyone feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter, I’ll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun," according to the BuzzFeed article. In another, he vowed to use his “God-given and law-appointed right and duty to kill" if threatened.

The tweets and the officer's Twitter account have been deleted amid a social media firestorm over the comments. His department, union and a college where he coached basketball all condemned the comments, NBC Bay Area reports.

"It is extremely important for the community to know the comments made on [this officer's] private social media account do not reflect the thoughts or feelings of the men and women here at the San Jose Police Department,'' San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel said.

"Offensive, disrespectful and inappropriate social media comments have no place in the public discourse surrounding the tragic loss of life from recent officer involved incidents,'' the San Jose Police Officers' Association said in a prepared statement. "We condemn these comments.''

The San Jose Mercury News in October wrote about the 20-year veteran's success with a gang prevention education program for schoolchildren. The paper reported that the program was widely regarded for addressing life issues with youngsters, including choices and consequences, peer pressure and bullying and harassment prevention.

Police watchdog group Silicon Valley De-Bug started an online petition demanding the officer be fired, collecting nearly 9,000 signatures as of Monday evening.

Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Enrique @ 12/16/2014 3:48 PM

Reason number 681 to stay off of Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media if you are a police officer.

kevCopAz @ 12/16/2014 4:29 PM

I bet if he was pro "killing cops" it would have been OK and his political right to say so. its all B.S.

GI Joe @ 12/16/2014 4:32 PM

When will dumb ego filled cops learn. I'm pro law enforcement but how stupid, immature and power tripped can you be with zero common sense to make comments like this. The loser ghetto thugs are with anti police groups monitoring anything police are doing on & off duty. In reality as a cop your 1st. Amendment rights are limited. Look at police policies covering on n off duty behavior. Once you are out it's true freedom. Fb, Twitter, linked in, regular police blogs are all monitored. Sadly we will see more stupidity from dumb cops who give good cops a bad name in this crucial time when the idiot obama n holder and his cronies attack law enforcement. Pretty sick.

TheRookie @ 12/16/2014 5:12 PM

Always stayed clear of any-all emailing and/or message systems. In my final years I wouldn't have anything to do with social media stuff at all. I was the last one to still hand write my reports in 2009. Bucked the computer age/system until I was able to retire. FB, twitter, Instagram has now been the death of many a L.E. careers.
Same with who's associated with outside of work. Had 3 good colleague friends. Other than that never needed new friends from the profession. Enjoyed my puncture free back to much.

Allan Smith @ 12/16/2014 6:20 PM

What a stupid thing to put out there. One never give warnings. Two what happens if something does go down? How do you now prove you weren't hunting?

Allan Smith @ 12/16/2014 6:22 PM

What a stupid thing to say. Now if he goes out there and something goes drown, how does he prove he wasn't hunting.

Nightstalker @ 12/16/2014 7:12 PM

Punk-ass cop but theres alot of trash in law-enforcement out there!!!!!

rede2hike @ 12/17/2014 7:25 AM

Family in blue, get rid of the Facebook accounts, get off & stay away from twitter because everybody is watching & reading what is said, especially if you are dumb enough to tell or show everyone you are in law enforcement. Social media will wipe out your career & make a mess of your lives. DUMP IT!
My agency has lost 9 good officers this year alone because of what they posted for the world to see. It's time to disappear from electronic stage till this anti-police movement tires itself out, just like after Rodney King.

Captain @ 12/17/2014 7:27 AM

I am sure it was expressed out of frustration from all the media crap, but we must remain professional in all situations. Otherwise we all look bad. We also have a media policy here. be careful! blessed be the peacemakers for the shall be called the sons of God

Veritas @ 6/23/2015 10:20 PM

So if one threatens the police will those individuals suffer any consequences? If you threaten no justice, no peace what will these same folks do?

America is dead. We live under a new kind of police state where what you can say must meet the approval and sanction of those in power.

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