Surf City, N.C., Police Chief Mike Halstead has retired effective immediately following an emergency meeting called in reference to a Facebook post he made. Major Ron Shanahan will take over as Interim Chief, reports WECT.
Town leaders and Halstead have agreed to 60 days of severance pay following his decision to retire.
According to Town Manager Larry Bergman, the police department has rules regarding social media. "He put that information out, that was intended for his friends and colleagues and peers, but it was a public statement and there are people that were offended," Bergman said.
Surf City Mayor Zander Guy called the emergency meeting in reference to Halstead's post he made to his personal page on Sep. 3, which said in part, "Open letter from a Police Chief, this Black Lives Matter group is nothing more than an American born terrorist group brought on by the lie of the hands up don't shoot during the criminal thug Michael Brown incident. The FBI and other Government Law Enforcement groups need to step up and put a stop to this…"
Bergman said he spoke with Halstead about the post after it was brought to his attention. Bergman also said the chief is apologetic for how his statements have been interpreted, and that he removed the post of his own accord.