A Detroit Police Department detective has been demoted and an internal investigation is being launched following a Facebook post that blasted the Black Lives Matter movement, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The detective involved was identified as Nathan Weekley, the brother of Police Officer Joseph Weekley, who shot and killed 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a 2010 police raid.
"I became aware the night of the posting on social media," Police Chief James Craig said Monday. "And once becoming aware of it, I notified my team so we could have a discussion. And based on the preliminary discussion assessment of it, Detective Weekley has been de-appointed down from the ranking of detective to police officer and he has been reassigned and we have opened an internal investigation into the matter."
The Facebook comment, the Free Press notes, was made in response to the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas. Nathan Weekley slammed Black Lives Matter members and their supporters as "terrorists."
"For the first time in my nearly 17 years as a law enforcement officer, I contemplated calling into work in response to the outrageous act perpetrated against my brothers," Weekley wrote. "It seems like the only response that will demonstrate our importance to society as a whole. The only racists here are the piece of [s—t] Black Lives Matter terrorists and their supporters."
Craig acknowledged that while "very quick action" was taken in demoting and reassigning Weekley from a special detective assignment, the officer was still entitled to due process and a fair investigation.
"We have to let that run," Craig said. "That's by contract and certainly out of fairness. We are aware that he posted and he has since removed the post and we recognize that it is still trending. We are concerned as a organization because it does tend to undermine all of the good work that I just described that we're doing in the community."
Craig said that the department was also looking into another controversial social media post made by a supervisor, but didn't give any further details.
"We're looking at another troubling post by an African American, and I'm going to be following up with that with my staff shortly," the police chief said. "I was just briefed on that minutes ago and we're going to treat that the same. Race doesn't matter. Race, gender, if you post something that's contrary to our oath of office, we will certainly take decisive and prompt action."
However, the National Action Network is calling out the decision, writing a letter to Mayor Mike Duggan demanding that Weekley be fired.
"This post denigrates the overwhelming majority of Detroit police that serve and protect with honor while placing their lives on the line every hour of every day," Sam Riddle, political director of the Michigan National Action Network, wrote in the letter. "Mayor Duggan, we have a nation on edge due to a racial divide and the slaughter of black Americans by police that literally get away with murder. Detroit, America's blackest and poorest city, cannot afford to have a policeman on duty so filled with hate for the dominant population of Detroit."
Craig mentioned that both he and the mayor were aware of the organization's demands before Weekley's post went viral.
"We have worked so hard and continue to work hard in making sure we have great relationships with everyone here in Detroit," Craig said. "I praised the protesters on Friday. You see the images in the other parts of country where crimes are being committed. In Detroit, folks here respect the law and order. There was not one incident. … I spent three hours having a discussion with the National Action Network on how we can build and enhance our relationship with the community.
"The public expects us that when we express an opinion that's contrary to the department's mission, that's a problem," he added. "We've disciplined others in the past for similar acts. Certainly social media can be a friend, but if you want to inject personal opinions then you'll face prompt action."
Read more at the Detroit Free Press.