PLEASANTVILLE - In another social media-driven
debacle, a village police officer has been suspended and could be fired
after he apparently posted a racist, obscenity-laced rant about
President Obama on his Facebook page.
fact that he (Obama) is still alive bewilders me," Officer Peter Burns
allegedly wrote in the post, which was obtained by The Journal News on
Thursday. "Go die in a shallow grave you Muslim commie ..."
post, apparently written on Dec. 11 on a Facebook profile page Burns
operated under the name "Coon Trapper," contained a racial slur, made
reference to "1st amendment NSA," and described Obama as "un-American."
being shown an image of the vulgar diatribe late Monday afternoon,
Pleasantville Police Chief Richard Love told the newspaper that he was
unaware of the post, but would take immediate action. On Tuesday, Love
announced that Burns has been relieved of his duties and placed on paid
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a statement to The Journal News, Love said the Facebook post contained
"despicable statements," which he said "are totally unacceptable and
will not be tolerated."
statement, which did not identify Burns by name, says that once an
internal affairs investigation is complete, "the Police department will
consider all legal options, including the possibility of commencing
disciplinary proceedings against the Police Officer which could lead to
incident is the latest to raise questions about standards for public
servants and the balance between personal and private use of social
three Harrison police officers were suspended and demoted after making
lewd comments about then-Supervisor Joan Walsh and swapping racist jokes
about Obama. Last year 17 New York City cops were suspended for posting
racist and offensive comments on a Facebook page devoted to the city's
2011 West Indian Day Parade.
episodes, and similar incidents across the country, have prompted many
police and government agencies to adopt social media policies for their