A Seattle police officer is under fire for using the slur “fag” on his Twitter account as well as making troubling statements about race.
The Stranger has unearthed some questionable tweets about gays and blacks from officer Anthony Reynolds. Responding to a tweet that showed Mayor Ed Murray meeting with black community leaders amid the unrest in Ferguson around November 2014, Reynolds tweeted:
“What @Mayor_Ed_Murray is doing is segregating by race and by definition racist.”
So, apparently the fact that a public official is meeting with black members of the community is somehow racist. In case that sounds as crazy to you as it does to us, Reynolds confirmed it with investigator Susanna Monroe with the Office of Professional Accountability in the following bizarre exchange:
MONROE: …So your, your response, you, you’re pointing out the, your belief that the Mayor meeting with a specific race group is in itself racist?
MONROE: Do you believe that that comment was disparaging or… well, or takes away from the effectiveness of the Department?
Reynolds also has it in for gays as well. In 2013, he tweeted “what a fag” at former Fear Factor host Joe Rogan. In response to the allegations of homophobia, Reynolds says that it was “sort of an ironic joke” and denies any antigay sentiment. Reynolds was given a verbal reprimand and forced to take retaining on the department’s social media policy. He continues to work the beat in Seattle.
While we’re not enormous fans of the social media accounts of every private citizen being scrutinized for racism/homophobia/general assholery, police officers should be held to a higher standard.
We all know that biases on their part can lead to the loss of life, and if that means they need to hold themselves back on social media a bit, we’re sure they’ll survive.