Volunteer Cop Resigns After Racist YouTube Comments Are Exposed

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
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Aaron McNamara
Fairview Park Police Department 

An auxiliary officer outside Cleveland who apparently spent a lot of his time watching YouTube videos—usually involving blacks and law enforcement—has resigned from the force after the Cleveland Scene exposed the officer's offerings in the video website's comments sections, where he frequently referred to blacks as "spooks" and "n—gers" and, in one comment posted in February 2014, wrote, "Abolishing slavery is the worst thing we could have done. These people should be exterminated. Unbelievable."  

Aaron McNamara, who was a volunteer officer with the Fairview Park Police Department, resigned his position less than an hour after the Cleveland Scene posted its story. According to the website, the comments posted to YouTube span more than two years and include racial and gay slurs.

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In one video titled "Seattle Police: You Are Going to Die," an officer is questioning witnesses to a shooting. A heated conversation between a man wearing a long white T-shirt and an officer ensues in the almost four-minute-long recording.

"You can take the spook out of the hood but you can't take the hood out of the spook," McNamara reportedly wrote. "By spook I mean that tall [n—ger] in the white tee who lost his gang banging brother who obviously did some [s—t] to get his bitch ass shot up."

In late November, McNamara argued that the parents of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was holding a toy gun when a Cleveland police officer fatally shot him, should themselves be investigated for their son's killing and that it was "absolutely ridiculous that the police are criticized" for the boy's death.

The Scene confronted McNamara about the YouTube comments, and he initially denied any involvement. "I'm not the only Aaron McNamara in this world," he told the Scene.

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The Scene then told McNamara that video of him appeared under the YouTube account, which had not only his first and last name but also the same middle name. The Scene noted that shortly after revealing this information, McNamara made his Twitter account private, closed his Instagram, and deleted his YouTube and Google Plus pages.

The Scene then informed Fairview Park Police Chief Erich Upperman of McNamara's reported comment activity. Shortly after, Upperman released a statement noting that the city "does not tolerate this type of conduct from any person working or volunteering for this city."

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"This is the first we are hearing of this, and it will be immediately and appropriately investigated. During his brief tenure with our agency, the volunteer never displayed any prejudicial leanings, nor did any arise during his background check," the chief noted.

McNamara resigned Friday, taking responsibility for the comments. "The comments I made in those particular videos were a product of my youth and immaturity; by no means am I a prejudice [sic] individual," McNamara stated, according to WEWS, which posted a portion of the letter. "I am an advocate for equality, and I am highly disappointed in myself for the statements I had previously made. I cannot recollect the most recent comment I was accused of making in February 2014, but I am not denying the claim."

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According to the news station, McNamara was working toward finishing his college degree and joining the police force full time. 

Read more at the Cleveland Scene and WEWS.

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