A Louisiana police officer is out of work this week after posting comments in which he appeared to lament that the coronavirus hadn’t killed more black Americans.
The Kaplan Police Department confirmed that they terminated Officer Steven Aucoin on May 15, just hours after he posted the racist comments online, the Idaho Statesman reports.
Aucoin made the remarks under a livestream of Governor John Bel Edwards’ press conference updating the public on the state’s coronavirus response.
A screenshot posted by the McClatchy News show displays the response that first grabbed people’s attention, in which Aucoin appeared to respond to a commenter who posted that the “virus was created to kill all the BLACKS is death.”
“Well it didn’t work,” Aucoin posted shortly after. “How unfortunate.”
Now, let’s say we wanted to grab our briefcase and get to work lawyering for the devil (not that he needs any more legal representation, but let’s just try it). Let’s say those remarks were completely unrelated to the coronavirus and black people. Maybe he was responding to another conversation thread about installing shelving in your garage or getting a good loaf of bread out of your sourdough starter kit.
Well, okay, sure. But then you’d have to explain the other racist comments Aucoin made online.
From the Idaho Statesman:
“I can’t wait until the next part of the plan is implemented and they see what’s in store for their kind,” the now-fired officer wrote, according to screenshots shared by a Facebook user. In another comment, the officer asked, “How many times have you been to combat for the rights you think you deserve for leaching off this country?”
As with many other parts of the country, black people have been disproportionately devastated by the coronavirus. Last month, Edwards shared that “slightly more than 70 percent of [coronavirus-related] deaths in Louisiana are African Americans.”
Black residents comprise just below a third of the state’s population, according to the Census. Public health experts agree that the reasons African Americans across the country have suffered at higher rates from COVID-19 are largely systemic.
The Kaplan Police Department apologized for Aucoin’s conduct before announcing his firing. But interestingly, Kaplan Police Department Chief Joshua Hardy seemed less concerned with how racist beliefs could impact his, I don’t know, policing, and more ruffled by the fact Aucoin broadcasted his racist drivel.
“We’re held to a higher standard than normal civilians, so you got to watch what you do, you got to watch what you say,” he told KLFY. “You can’t just go and post anything you want on social media.”
According to KATC-TV, this is actually Aucoin’s second go-round with the police department. The officer was previously employed with the Kaplan police for eight months. Aucoin had been working with the police again for the last three months before he got fired.