Today's blog is a companion post to our report last week about a firefighter who was terminated for his Facebook activity - you will recall that the court of appeals upheld the firefighter's termination. This one involves a Florida police officer who was fired for the following Facebook post:
This year we lost two gorillas, one is in heaven and one is moving out of the White House. One will be missed. One will not be.
Shortly after posting this on Facebook last November, a citizen filed a complaint with her employer, the Bartow Police Department. Although news reports state that she was suspended for two days, that suspension related to social media posts in which she was wearing her uniform and not this Facebook post. The officer remained on the Bartow Police Department until last week, when the chief of police terminated her by letter dated March 23, 2017.
According to news reports, the basis for her termination was a letter from the county state's attorney's office that the police officer would no longer be used as a witness in any case filed in the county circuit court because of the damage to the officer's credibility as a result of her Facebook post. The chief noted that an essential function of an officer's job is the ability to testify in court to support an arrest, and she could no longer perform this duty.
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf