Social media has come a long way since society was first introduced to it. What once served as a way for people to connect and catch up with one another now serves as a platform for individuals to voice their concerns and even their opinions. While some keep their sharing to a minimum, others hold nothing back when commenting.
This has not only led to many disputes arising across various social media platforms, but also to several police officers being faced with disciplinary action. According to The Dallas Morning News, at least 13 Dallas police officers were disciplined this week for the comments they posted on their social media accounts. The source says that while some of the posts involved racial stereotypes and Islamophobic comments, others made light of police brutality.
The comments were uncovered by researchers with the Plainview Project who began reviewing social media posts that had been uploaded by police officers between 2010 and 2018. Researchers identified 169 former and current Dallas police officers who were suspected to have violated the department’s social media policy, says NBC DFW. The source says that it was later determined that 60 of the officers were no longer employed with the department.
NBC DFW said that the Internal Affairs Division proceeded to review approximately 445 posts and comments that had been made by the other 109 officers who were still working as a Dallas police officer. After uncovering the tremendous amount of offensive comments and posts, the Internal Affairs Division expanded the scope of the investigation to 2019, says NBC DFW. As a result of the investigation, the Dallas Police Department identified 13 officers for misconduct, with two cases that are still pending.
What type of disciplinary action will these Dallas officers face for the offensive comments they posted on social media?
The Dallas Police Department issued a statement addressing the inappropriate comments and stated that the officers would be facing discipline that “ranged from documented counseling to suspensions without pay.” The source said that although the department’s social media policy does say that “officers are free to express themselves as private citizens on social media sites,” they must do so in a way that “doesn’t impair working relationships of the Department, impede the performance of their duties, impair discipline and harmony among coworkers, or negatively affect the public’s perception of the Department.”
What happens when an offensive comment posted by a police officer translates into police brutality?
Although many of the comments that were reviewed were a mere violation of the Dallas PD’s social media policy, and nothing more, many might serve as a reflection of how an officer views their community and the individuals living in it. If an officer were to act on their negative feelings and abuse their authority while performing their duties, they could be found guilty of police brutality.
If you ever find yourself in an encounter with a Dallas police officer who has abused their power and violated your rights, contact USAttorneys.com. We can help you locate a Dallas, TX police brutality attorney who can help you combat this ongoing issue that continues to widen that gap that exists between law enforcement and the public.