Two of nearly two dozen St. Louis, MO, police officers accused this summer by a watchdog group of posting objectionable Facebook messages have been fired.

Sgt. Ronald Hasty and Detective Thomas Mabrey are appealing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Their attorney, Brian Millikan, said the posts were made as private citizens and did not violate any city or police policy, reports ABC News.

Hasty and Mabrey were among 22 active St. Louis officers connected to social media posts considered racist, violent or prejudiced in a June study by the Philadelphia-based watchdog group The Plain View Project. Some of the posts highlighted by the group touted roughing up protesters or mocked foreign accents. Others displayed the Confederate flag and questioned whether Black History Month is racist.

An internal investigation ensued, during which Hasty, Mabrey, and several others were removed from patrol and placed in administrative jobs. Millikan declined to comment on the status of the other officers in that group.

St. Louis police confirmed Monday that Hasty, a 32-year veteran, and Mabrey, a 30-year veteran, were no longer with the department as of Nov. 27. Spokeswoman Michelle Woodling declined to comment further, saying their departure was a personnel matter.

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