Florida officer fired over social media post
DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A Florida police officer has been terminated after supervisors said he posted a racially charged selfie on social media.
Matthew Moriarty, 24, served as an officer Daytona Beach Shores for about two-and-a-half years, before being fired after investigators discovered what they have described as a racist Snapchat post. The police department provided FOX 35 with that photograph, which show officer appears to have drawn black hair and a beard on a picture of himself. He also superimposed graphics of a syringe needle, a police car, and a toy gun, using the Snapchat filter. The words "THIS IS HOW I CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH," appear at the bottom of the image.
Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department Director Stephan Dembinsky said, once they received the complaint and saw the photograph, the officer was immediately suspended, and then event eventually fired.
"This was during Black History Month. It was terrible thing to do. It was reprehensible. How do you defend that? How do you stay a police officer, when you go to court and testify against the people that you put in jail, and they hold up this picture and ask how can we believe this is unbiased policing?" Dembinsky explained. "Every chief in America is going through the same thing, and we have to weed these people out.
Dembinsky added that they subsequently went through all of that officer's arrests and traffic stops, to see if they could find any potential bias. So far, they haven't found any, but a state attorney will likely have to do the same exact thing. We are also told a separate internal investigation has been opened on this same officer.