KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS St. Louis) – A police officer who reportedly vented on Facebook about the Michael Brown shooting is now facing an internal review.
Kansas City Police Officer Mark Catron made strong comments about Brown on his Facebook page that has caused an outrage on social media. He shared a photo of an accused killer from Oregon claiming it was the teenager in a compromising position, KCTV reported.
A spokesman for the police department explained that this is a personnel issue that will be addressed with Catron and shared a copy of the department’s eight-page social media policy.
According to KCTV, the department policy states, “Because members of this department are held to a higher standard than general members of the public, the online activities of members of this department shall reflect such professional expectations and standards.”
Two cousins were accused of allegedly using a sledge hammer to kill their great-grandmother last year in Oregon. In a photo, Joda Cain has a wad of money stuffed in his mouth while pointing a gun at the camera. The photo has been posted to Facebook by people claiming that it’s Brown when it is not.
Catron posted the photo of Cain to his Facebook page stating, “I’m sure young Michael Brown is innocent and just misunderstood. I’m sure he is a pillar of the Ferguson community.”
He added additional comments about the violence due to Brown’s shooting death.
“Remember how white people rioted after OJ’s acquittal? Me neither,” according to a post that Catron shared on his own Facebook page.
A woman saw Catron’s posts and contacted the police department citing her concerns about the officer’s racially insensitive posts.
“Right now with all the tension going on in Ferguson and there’s a lot of uncertainty right now and I feel like those pictures were demeaning and judgmental, very one-sided,” Sarah Jackson told KCTV. “These are the people that serve and protect us. And more than one wrong doesn’t make a right.”
The police department’s policy explains that employees are not to post images or make statements that “ridicule, malign, disparage or otherwise express bias anything any race, any religion or other protected class of individuals.”
Furthermore, the police department’s social media page states that employees are allowed to express their thoughts as private citizens on social media sites, but their speech shouldn’t negatively affect the public or professional perception of the department.”
Jackson thinks Catron’s thoughts do not align with the department’s policy.
“I feel like the way he addressed it was very racial,” Jackson said.