A police detective in Massachusetts was fired last month after a social media post supporting Black Lives Matter angered her superiors and colleagues on the force, MassLive reported.
Florissa Fuentes of the Springfield Police Department posted an image on her personal Instagram account on May 30, showing her niece protesting in Atlanta the day before. The niece was holding a sign that read “Shoot the F*** Back,” and another person in the picture was holding a sign that read “Who do we call when the murderer wears the badge?”
Fuentes said she was just trying to support her niece and didn’t mean to offend anyone and that she only later realized how the inflammatory rhetoric may have angered her co-workers.
“After I posted it, I started getting calls and texts from co-workers,” Fuentes said, according to MassLive. “I was initially confused, but then I realized they thought I was being anti-cop. I wasn’t. I was just supporting my niece’s activism. I had no malicious intent, and I wouldn’t put a target on my own back. I’m out there on the streets every day like everyone else.”
Fuentes took the post down the next day, but the damage to her reputation within the department had already been done. She was written up for a social media violation by Capt. Trent Duda, who also told her that Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood was upset about the post.
Even an apology post Fuentes wrote after meeting with Clapprood and other senior officers was so poorly received that she had to delete that as well.
On June 19, all Springfield officers were called in for a group photo shoot to display the department’s unity and diversity. Fuentes showed up and participated in the photo shoot, but was told by Officer Joseph Gentile, the Springfield Police Patrolmen’s Association president, that she could either resign or be fired, and Fuentes chose to be fired.
“That’s the issue with social media — once you post something it’s out there and you can’t retract it,” Clapprood said. “That post was hurtful to many of her co-workers. … It was the second issue she had, and being on probation, it was my decision to terminate her employment.”
(H/T: The Hill)