COLLINSVILLE, Okla. — A Collinsville police officer is under fire for posting anti-Muslim images on social media.
The department learned about the posts through our investigation.
Capt. Matthew Burke said, “During our investigation we have seen any of his posts that was brought forth to our attention were all posted prior to 2015, before he ever came to work for us.”
But Burke says that’s no excuse for an officer using discriminatory language. He says cops do have their first amendment rights just like anyone else, but law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard, even online.
He said, “The Collinsville Police Department does not support any view that is racist or would demean anyone’s civil rights.”
The more offensive posts said phrases like, “Who wants to play cowboys and Muslims?” The officer, who we’re not naming, even made it his cover photo.
Burke says the officer has only been with the Collinsville PD for less than a year and the department was unaware of the posts prior to hiring the officer.
The captain added, “It has kind of brought a concern that maybe we should be looking more into social media during our hiring processes. He hasn’t posted anything of any concern since he’s been hired with us.”
With so many new social media options in recent years, many police departments like Collinsville don’t have strict guidelines when it comes to officers posting.
He said, “We do have a social media policy but it’s more geared toward like, ‘you will not post internal workings of the police department on your social media. You will not demean the police department on your social media.’ that kind of stuff.”
That’s why Capt. Burke says the department will re-evaluate and re-vamp their social media policy, making an inclusive environment for all members of the community.
The officer has since deactivated his Facebook and did not face disciplinary action because there was no police to enforce.