The news is out: [A Colorado police officer has been placed on temporary suspension after it was learned he posted online comments under a fake name saying “kill them all” on live Facebook coverage of a protest in June, an official confirmed this week.
Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Vince Niski said in an open letter on Monday that the officer, Sgt. Keith Wrede, was handed a 40-hour suspension, which he noted amounted to more than $2,000 in lost pay, and was removed from his specialized unit as a result of an internal investigation into the comments.
Niski said the comments “KILL THEM ALL” and “KILL EM ALL” had been made under an account by the name of “Steven Eric” on a local station’s livestream of a demonstration by a group of protesters that had blocked traffic on I-25 on June 30.
According to CBS Denver, the protesters had been demonstrating to back the Black Lives Matter movement.
The police chief said the department launched an internal probe into the comments after the station contacted its public affairs office days later saying “they received a tip that ‘Steven Eric’ was a pseudonym, and the account actually belonged to CSPD Sergeant Keith Wrede.”
The official said the probe was launched “immediately” due to the “inappropriate, unprofessional, and unacceptable nature of the comments” and that the office was “able to quickly determine Sergeant Wrede’s involvement.”
“It was determined that the comments were made off-duty out of frustration and there was no indication of any physical action or intent to cause harm. I am in no way minimizing Sergeant Wrede’s words. His comments were unacceptable, have damaged our relationship with members of our community, and fell short of our standards,” Niski stated in the letter, which included links to documents related to the probe and photos of the offensive comments.]
He is not alone; there are many more like him.