DETROIT (WJBK) - A Detroit police detective has been disciplined after posting an anti-Black Lives Matter comment on social media, and now we're learning a second member of the force is also under investigation for a questionable post. The patrol supervisor is in trouble over a racist and homophobic post.
An attorney says it is plain and simple - watch what you post on social media, especially government employees. You could lose your job over it.
"You can say a lot of things on social media," says employment attorney Deborah Gordon. "But be aware your employer may be able to come after you for it. That is especially true for police officers."
FOX 2 learned an African-American patrol supervisor is now under investigation for a homophobic and racist Facebook post he made. The offensive rant was anonymously sent to the administration Monday morning. That supervisor is in the process of being transferred to a different district.
Police Chief James Craig didn't disclose details, but he described the remarks as "misguided" and the result of "bad judgment."
The supervisor's name wasn't released. Craig announced the action Monday night, hours after talking to reporters about Facebook comments posted by a white detective, who called the Black Lives Matter movement "racists" and "terrorists."
The chief announced Det. Nate Weekley has been demoted to an officer as he has become the center of an internal investigation. Weekley is the brother of the Detroit officer who was charged with involuntary manslaughter after the accidental shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones.
“If you are making statements that reflect on you as a police officer, your belief about the people you are policing or maybe even in your office, you can be disciplined and or fired for doing that,” Gordon says.
And it's not just officers of the law. Chief Craig says four people were arrested over the weekend for posting threats against DPD officers on social media. Criminal charges are expected.
Gordon says people often fall back on their First Amendments right, and claim they are protected. A Facebook post may not be criminal, but she says the courts have made it clear, people who work for the government are held to a different standard and need to watch what they write.
“Anything where you are reflecting back on your employer or the people you are interacting with as a public servant,” she says.
We're told the chief plans to hold a news conference about the latest inflammatory post by one of his officers on Tuesday. Internal investigations are underway. It's not clear whether the officers will lose their job over the posts.