Arizona police sergeant Pat Shearer is drawing some attention due to his suspicious and outwardly stupid Facebook posts. This “officer of the law” apparently thinks it is okay to post photos depicting young men with automatic weapons holding an Obama shirt full of bullet holes.
While I don’t believe this is a crime, shouldn’t it be the position of any law officer to “lead by example” and not promote any materials or actions that would facilitate or condone violence? I do. We pay law officers good money and benefits to protect and serve and we are time after time being confronted with cases where they abuse their power. Shearer says the photo is a political statement and offers these comments:
“I don’t think that the shooting of that T-shirt is that big of a deal”.
“It’s not like they were going to go out and shoot the president”.
Shearer is a 25 year veteran of his department which I believe is reason enough to expect better judgment from him. Secret service spokesman Max Milien does too and he claims the Secret Service is taking the matter seriously.
In an interview with Politico Milien explained:
“Any time information is brought to our attention where an individual or a group of individuals expresses unusual direction of interest in one of our protectees, we conduct appropriate follow-up.”
If the secret service determines that this mindless fool actually intended to threaten (which I doubt he meant to do) the President, legal action could follow.
Dan Barr, an attorney who works for the First Amendment Coalition explains:
“It is a crime to knowingly and willingly make a threat against the life of the President of the United States – in order to kidnap him or make a threat of bodily harm”.
“The first amendment does not apply if a true threat is made against the President of the United States.”
“Employees shall not post, transmit, reproduce, and/or disseminate information (text, pictures, video, audio, etc.) to the Internet or any other forum (public or private) that would tend to discredit or reflect unfavorably upon the department or any of the department’s employees.”
Regardless of these policies, Shearer is still an active officer, patrolling the streets and enforcing how others should be conducting themselves! Unreal! Get this guy off the streets!
If this guy was a private citizen I would say, there’s nothing we can really do about it, but that is not the case. He’s being paid by the State of Arizona to uphold law and order, not to insight violence or promote the use of illegal automatic weapons. He should lose his job. He’s not a rookie who made a “dumb mistake”. He’s a 25 year veteran who is obviously just “dumb”!
Again, I don’t really believe Sergeant Shearer is a threat to the President of the United States but, if he lacks the common sense to censor himself in a public forum, why is he trusted to enforce Arizona’s laws?