FALL RIVER, Mass. — A police department has apologized after posting and then deleting a Facebook post that appeared to criticize George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last May galvanized national attention on racial inequities and police brutality.
An investigation is underway and could lead to disciplinary action for the Fall River police officer who published the post, which was a screenshot of a tweet that read, "Chauvin immediately stood and calmly placed his hands behind his back. Imagine where we'd be if George had done the same."
The post appeared shortly after the former officer was convicted Tuesday on three counts in Floyd's murder. He faces potentially decades behind bars.
The officer involved has not been identified and has been transferred to an assignment that has no contact with the public, according to a Wednesday statement by the department. An independent agency will be assigned to investigate, it said.
By early afternoon on Wednesday, the department had deleted the post and issued an apology over Facebook, saying the post appeared on the official page in error and represented a department employee's personal opinion.
"It is with regret that the Fall River Police Department's Facebook page was accessed by personnel who inadvertently re-posted an opinion that was meant for their own personal account," the post read. "The posting in no way represents the opinion of the Chief of Police or the Fall River Police Department. We will continue our commitment toward transparency and building relationships with our community."
Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza elaborated on the incident in a statement, saying, "I am personally disappointed these attitudes exist. Through training, we have been and will continue to ensure our staff practices fair and impartial policing."
Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan called the incident "unacceptable" in a statement Wednesday and said he will follow up with the police chief to address "lingering opinions like those shared" in the post.
"While the Fall River Police Department is full of great men and women who care deeply for our community, there is no place in the FRPD for an opinion like that shared today," Coogan's statement said, in part.
"While I am saddened by the harm that the statement has caused, it has reminded us of the hard work we have yet to do to create transparent, strong relationships between the FRPD and our community," the statement continued.
This article originally appeared on The Herald News: Chauvin verdict: Massachusetts police apologize for George Floyd post