Really, some people are simply dumb. You might not like President Barack Obama, and you might not agree with many of his policies. You might even hope to boot him out of office. But does that really mean that you, as a veteran police sergeant, need to post a picture on your Facebook page showing a bunch of high school kids with guns and with a T-shirt of Obama riddled with bullets?
Sergeant's Brilliant Idea
There must be other ways to convey your disgust. But, indeed, this was the avenue that Pat Shearer took, a 25-year veteran of the Peoria, Arizona police force. While remaining on active duty for the time being, Shearer has gained some unwanted attention at the moment – from Obama’s secret service team.
A citizen brought the Facebook page to the U.S. Secret Service’s attention. As Max Millien, spokesman for the Secret Service explained, "Any time information like this is brought to our attention we have to conduct a follow-up.”
He continued by explaining that, "We understand an individual's right to free speech but we also have the right to speak to the individual to determine what their intent is.”
Investigating the Sergeant
Certainly not wanting to look delinquent in the matter, the Peoria police department has started an investigation internally as well. As Jay Davies, the Peoria police spokesman said, "We were made aware of that situation today and we have opened an administrative investigation to determine if there are any policy violations that took place.”
The photo is no longer up on Shearer’s page. But that, certainly, is the least of his problems.
The Peoria Police Department’s social-media policy states, "Employees shall not post, transmit, reproduce and/or disseminate information (text, pictures, video, audio, etc.) to the Internet or any other forum (public or private) that would tend to discredit or reflect unfavorably upon the department or any of the department's employees."
Perhaps he should have read over the policy before displaying his picture – and before involving seven students from the local high school in the mess.