Firefighter Under Investigation After Racist Facebook Comment Cheering For Police Brutality
An upstate New York firefighter apparently thought it was a good idea to chime in on a police brutality case and now he is under investigation for his actions. Derek Rose, 51, of the Albany Fire Department, posted a racist comment under a Facebook post by the Albany Police Officers Union where he expressed support for officers involved in a police brutality incident, according to a report from the Albany Times-Union.
Rose’s comment is no longer on the post, but according to Times Union, he wrote, “Thump those thugs. They didn’t use excessive force.” The incident he is referring to occurred on Saturday, March 16, when body camera and witness footage caught several officers, including Luke Deer, brutally beating several Black men while answering a noise complaint.
Fire Chief Joseph Gregory told the Times-Union that the firefighter’s comments were not representative of the department but said he could not comment further because it was a personnel matter.
“At this point, we’re going to do an investigation,” he said.
In a statement, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan called the comments “crass” and “ignorant.”
“We hold all city employees to a high standard as public servants, and all Albany Police Department and Fire Department members are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of New York,” Sheehan said. “A crass, ignorant statement like this is unbecoming of anyone who takes that oath,” she said.
On March 16, police were called to a house at 4 a.m. for a noise complaint. In the video, police officers can be seen kicking in the door and began tackling a suspect, who they also kicked while telling him to put his hands behind his back. In another part of the video, Deer, who is white, can be seen punching another suspect outside until he fell to the ground. While on the man’s back, the officer continued to brutally punch the suspect and beat him with his baton. Women can be heard screaming in the background.
Toward the end of the video, Deer was reprimanded by another officer who told him to “chill” and “you disobeyed a direct order, shut your mouth.”
The three suspects — Armando Sanchez, Mario Gorostiza and Anthony Childs — were initially given several charges that included disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing government administration. But on Wednesday, the Albany County District Attorney’s office asked a judge to dismiss all charges. Deer was subsequently charged with assault and official misconduct while Officer Matthew Seeber and an unidentified officer have been suspended without pay.
So far in Albany City Court – Lee Childs was called in front of the judge for a dismissal proceeding. He did not appear. But his charges were dropped. (Criminal nuisance & Obstructing governmental administration) https://cbs6albany.com/news/local/albany-police-chief-mayor-to-announce-arrest-and-suspensions-of-albany-officers …12:28 PM – Apr 3, 2019See Leanne DeRosa’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy
“I condemn that misconduct in the strongest terms and I am sending a strong message that such conduct will not be tolerated in the Albany Police Department,” Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Hawkins, who is Black, announced that more charges could be pending in this case.