Offensive Snapchat post leads to suspension of 2 MPD officers

2 MPD officers suspended over racist Snapchat post

UPDATE: Memphis Police Department have identified the officers that were relieved of duty due to an offensive Snapchat picture:

  • Michael Malone (pictured left):  Employed with the city of Memphis since June 23, 2008
  • James Fort (pictured right):  Employed with the city of Memphis since July 21, 2008

Police say both officers will remain relieved of duty until an internal investigation has been completed.

Content Continues Below

-----

(earlier)

Two Memphis police officers have been suspended with pay due to an offensive Snapchat picture.

The post brought out anger from Interim MPD Director Mike Rallings. It was posted the same night as the fatal shootings of five Dallas officers, and it came days after two people died at the hands of law enforcement.

The Snapchat photo shows a man aiming his gun at a carton figure of African American man who is running. The person who posted it on social media is a Memphis police officer.

The incident caused to Interim Director Rallings to vent and suspend him.

"The image is disgusting and will not be tolerated" said Rallings.

The director also suspended the officer who noticed the Snapchat and posted it on Wwitter. Both officers relieved of duty with pay until they have a hearing.

"We are certainly responsible for the decisions we make, and we are held to a higher standard,” Rallings told FOX13.

In reviewing the MPD Policy, we found a section that deals with ‘Social Media Sites and Internet Content.’  It states "employees must avoid any conduct which could compromise the integrity of the Department. This includes conduct related to materials posted on personal websites, social media, twitter, Facebook ... etc."

"The fact that it could have been a Memphis police officer just blew me away, and again we deal with these things," Rallings said.

Sources told FOX13 the officer who originally sent the disturbing photo could be fired.

The officer who allegedly retweeted it as an act of disgust and anger could face punishment, but not as harsh.

"My job is not shot off with my first emotion. My job is to find out the facts , determine if there is violation and hold officer accountable," Rallings said.

LEADERS REACT TO SHOOTINGS: Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings hold a news conference to discuss the deadly Dallas shootings and a recent social media post that the department is investigating: http://bit.ly/29AiEdf Greg Coy, FOX 13 News was live at the press conference.

Posted by FOX13 Memphis on Friday, July 8, 2016