Illustration for article titled But First, Let Me Take a Racist Selfie: Detroit Police Officer Out of a Job After Snapchat Goes Viral
Screenshot: WDITV 4

A Snapchat with clear racist undertones has cost a Detroit police officer his job.


According to the Detroit News (h/t Washington Post), before starting his shift on Saturday, Sean Bostwick took a selfie (as one does). But doing a little pre-shift duckface in his uniform wasn’t enough for Bostwick, who chose to add the caption, “another night to Rangel up these zoo animals.”

We assume he meant “wrangle.”


The derogatory phrase was clearly in reference to Detroit residents, the very people the rookie cop was hired to protect and serve. That Bostwick, who is white, patrols a city that is more than 80 percent black escaped no one, and once the photo started circulating on social media, the calls for his termination were instantaneous.

And Police Chief James Craig delivered. As WDIV TV reports, Craig suspended Bostwick on Sunday, and discussed the situation with the 12th precinct officer and his union rep on Monday morning. By Monday afternoon, Craig had announced that Bostwick was no longer with the force.

“This is his last day on our payroll. Tomorrow, he will no longer be a Detroit police officer. He is clear on that,” Craig told reporters.

According to the chief, Bostwick expressed remorse about the post and took responsibility for it.


“He admitted that he did this. He said he didn’t mean it the way it came off,” Craig said. (Cliff’s Notes: people caught doing racist mess never mean the way it comes off.)

Bostwick’s swift removal was due in part to the fact he was still on his probationary period. Although he had been with Detroit PD for 18 months, Chief Craig said Bostwick “spent much of the time at the academy because of low test scores,” writes the Detroit News.


Craig didn’t refute the possibility that Bostwick would end up on another police force, but says he hopes that isn’t the case.

“I think any department that hires him will be concerned about this post,” the Detroit Chief of Police said. “I don’t think any city would want to take a chance or risk, but that’s between him and a potential employer.”

Staff writer, The Root.

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