Members of law enforcement making vile and racist comments on Facebook is nothing new. As protests against police brutality continue around the country, the comments have seemingly increased in their lack of empathy. A detective in Seattle, Wash., has been placed on leave for posting an “All Lives Splatter” meme after a group of Black Lives Matters activists were struck by a car this past weekend.
CBS News reports that the King County’s Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into Detective Mike Brown for multiple Facebook posts related to the incident. One of the now-deleted posts said, “I see a couple of people got infected with COVID-19 from the hood of a car on I-5 last night.” Brown, a 40- year veteran of the King County Sheriff’s Office, has been relieved of all his police powers while the investigation is ongoing. The sheriff’s office will also investigate whether any of its other employees liked or commented on the posts.
“This has taken priority with me. And I’ve asked the undersheriff to make sure that our internal investigation command understands this is their top priority right now,” Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht told KIRO 7. “We value all members of our community and are committed to serving everyone equally, with dignity and respect. I will take swift action to thoroughly investigate when the conduct of Sheriff’s Office members fails to reflect our core values and violates Sheriff’s Office policy,” she added. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) revealed that Brown was his cousin and expressed his disapproval of the posts in a tweet on Tuesday.
From CBS News:
According to the Washington State Patrol, Dawit Kelete, who is Black, drove his car around vehicles that were parked on Interstate 5 to protect a demonstration of Black Femme March, part of the Black Lives Matter movement, early Saturday. He struck two and then sped away, investigators said. Video showed protesters screaming and scattering as the car approached.
Summer Taylor, a 24-year-old veterinary clinic worker, was killed. Diaz Love, 32, from Portland, Oregon, was in serious condition.
Kelete’s bail was set Monday at $1.2 million. Kelete’s lawyer, John Henry Browne, said the crash was a “horrible, horrible accident” and was not intentional.
This is undoubtedly a tragic loss of life. The fact that Brown saw fit to make light of it is simply horrific and further illustrates the divide between law enforcement and the people they’re paid to protect. If Brown can’t see the humanity in people who simply want law enforcement to do better at their job, then he, and any other cop who may have co-signed his posts should be fired immediately.