A Shreve, Ohio, police sergeant says he wasn't being racist after an inflammatory Facebook post landed him in trouble and on indefinite, unpaid suspension, News Net 5 reports.
"Been at work for ONE HOUR and the monkeys have already exceeded their limit of snark I'm gonna take for the night. PUMP THE BRAKES, MONKEYS!" Sgt. Robert Biddle, 34, wrote on his Facebook page in the post, which was shared hundreds of times.
Now Biddle is saying that he didn't mean anything offensive by the post.
"I call my wife Monkey," he said. "Unfortunately, it's a term I'm going to have to learn not to use. I've learned now: The timing was really bad.
"It's not something where I deal with a lot of African-American people and had a reason to be upset," Biddle said, referencing his interaction with the black community while on the job.
Police Chief Ron Kiner came to Biddle's defense, saying that he didn't think Biddle meant anything racist.
"I'm sure there was nothing racist meant by that post," Kiner said. "Because he's just not like that."
However, Biddle, an 11-year veteran, was still placed on suspension, not for the comments, the news station notes, but for using social media during work hours and for talking about his duties on Facebook.
According to Kiner, the only call that the officer had responded to before writing the Facebook post was that regarding a white woman with abdominal pain.
"During the 11 years I've worked with him, I've never heard him make a racial slur and we've never had a complaint," Kiner said.
Mayor Yvonne Hendershott said the issue will be investigated additionally, but she says she also didn't think Biddle was being racist.
"I think it all got blown out of proportion because of everything that was going on in the world," Hendershott said. "I have zero tolerance for that. If I even had an inkling that it was [racist], he would have been gone, but I'm 100 percent sure it wasn't."
"I am sorry, I truly am," Biddle said. "It wasn't meant to come off that way. I'm not that kind of person, and I'm sorry that I have hurt people in this. But please give some benefit of the doubt that maybe I'm telling the truth."
Read more at News Net 5.