Social Media Comments Cost St. Pete Police Officer His Job
He referred to members of youth gangs, saying, among other things, that “there is no saving them,” according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
ST. PETERSBURG – A four-year veteran of the Police Department lost his job today (April 11) after a review board found he had made inappropriate comments on social media, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.
Officer David Garrett had worked for the department since Jan. 6, 2014. A review board found that his comments on social media “brought discredit to himself, the department and adversely affected his job, as well as his reputation or goodwill in the community.” The posts amounted to conduct unbecoming an employee, police said.
The accusations stem from a Dec. 27 online discussion Garrett had on a social media site regarding adolescents who choose to join a gang. Police said he shared a Youtube video and referred to the video as showing a youth gang in St. Petersburg. He said, “I’ve arrested many, many of the people in the videos” leading people to believe he was an officer.
Police said Garrett also said, “They are a lost cause. They deserve death or prison. There is no saving them. ” and “Incarcerate all of them.”
Although Garrett used a fake name online and did not directly identify himself as a police officer, a member of the public was able to make that determination because he posted photos of himself, in uniform, on his social media site, police said. That individual shared Garrett’s social media posts with the department.
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