In New Jersey, cops have been disciplined over comments about Black Lives Matter.
As reported by NJ.com, Hopewell Township Police Officer Sara Erwin’s served with the department at least 20 years.
The same is true of Sgt. Mandy Grey.
Mandy, in fact, was the first policewoman ever hired in Hopewell.
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According to the decorated pair’s attorney, Frank Crivelli, neither have had any prior internal affairs complaints.
No matter, both are now embroiled in controversy.
At issue: a Facebook post by Sara last June.
It reportedly went as follows:
“Just checking in to say thank you to those that reached out to make sure I and my coworkers were doing okay as we worked the night shift this weekend. I’ve been kind of quiet regarding the protests and riots because, quite frankly, I couldn’t find the words. Last night as I left for work, I had my two kids crying for me not to go to work. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way I did last night. And then I watched people I know and others I care about going into harm’s way. I love my police family like my own. So when you share posts and things on Facebook, I’d really appreciate if you’d THINK before doing so. I’ve seen so many Black Lives Matter hashtags in these posts. Just to let you know — they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don’t care if I die.”
Not everyone appreciated her bashing of BLM(TM).
Soon afterward, then-Police Chief Lance Maloney issued a public apology via NJ Advance Media:
“On Monday, June 8, 2020 the township learned that multiple police officers and township employees had been accused of improper conduct involving social media. Those officers and employees were immediately placed on leave by the Chief of Police and Business Administrator.
“As we continue to investigate a recent Facebook post, please know that I am sorry for the hurt that this incident has caused our community. We understand that we have the obligation to make sure that our officers police in a manner that is fair and impartial.”
The Daily Mail notes that Sara was charged with misconduct in late July.
Allegedly, she’d violated multiple department policies, “including standards of conduct; violating the township’s social media policy, public employment and ‘the implicit standard of good behavior.'”
As for those placed on leave, the group included public servants and other officers who “liked” the post.
Following an investigation by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, it was determined Sara’d committed no crime.
That put the ball back in the PD’s court.
Subsequently, Chief Lance’s retirement gave way to a civilian police director now in charge of the department.
So how did Sara Erwin end up? She was fired.
Furthermore, she’ll lose her rank of sergeant.
The duo’s filed for appeals with Superior Court.
One basis: freedom of speech.
Aside from the Facebook and firing flare-up, it appears she was a beloved officer.
As noted by NJ.com:
Erwin is popular in the Hopewell Valley community, serving as a DARE officer in the school system, and was featured several times on the police department’s Facebook page for giving safety speeches and making other appearances and presentations for the department.
Sara’s certainly not the first to lose a job due to something on social media. But it’s a reminder of the times in which we live — it seems there is no “job life” and personal life anymore. The two are one and the same.
That’s far more true, I would guess, of police officers.
Meanwhile, the notion that cops are some sort of terrorists appears to garner a bit more respect:
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