Officer Sara Erwin of the Hopewell Township Police Department in New Jersey has been terminated after referring to Black Lives Matter protesters as “terrorists” on Facebook.
Sgt. Mandy Gray, who reacted to the post will be demoted following a six-month suspension. The town council voted unanimously to fire and suspend the pair, as per the recommendations of a hearing officer, lawyer Brian P. Trelease. The Facebook post was made in June after the death of George Floyd led to violent demonstrations against law enforcement. “Last night as I left for work I had my two kids crying for me not to go to work. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way I did last night. And then I watched people I know and others I care about going into harms way. I love my police family like my own. So when you share posts and things on Facebook I’d really appreciate if you’d THINK before doing so. I’ve seen so many black lives matter hashtags in these posts. Just to let you know — they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don’t care if I die,” Erwin’s post reportedly read.
According to NJ.com, Frank Crivelli, the lawyer representing the officer and sergeant described Erwin and Gray as being “exemplary and decorated officers with ‘absolutely no disciplinary history.’” First Amendment rights will be argued in appeals, which are underway in Superior Court, Crivelli said. Since the summer of 2020, law enforcement across the country has experienced scrutiny for alleged cases of brutality and racism. The result of demonstrations against officers has led to a decrease in police department applicants and efforts to redefine policing in America.
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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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