A Missouri police union has come under fire after a Facebook post Sunday commemorating "Darren Wilson Day" in solidarity with the Ferguson officer who was exonerated in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports:
A post on the Columbia Police Officers Association’s Facebook page commemorating “Darren Wilson Day” has drawn fire from some Columbia residents, the city’s mayor and the police department itself. [...]
The “Darren Wilson Day” post, which appeared on the one-year anniversary of the shooting, included a message that said the organization’s support for Wilson had nothing to do with race. The organization supports Wilson because of “the fact that he was thoroughly investigated ... and BOTH investigations found he did NOTHING wrong,” according to the Facebook post.
Around 20 protesters—including two public officials, City Manager Mike Matthes and police Chief Ken Burton—gathered outside the Columbia Police Department headquarters Monday to express their disapproval of the "insensitive" post.
"I found the post offensive, and I thought I needed to stand with the community and say what the police department thinks about it," said Chief Burton. "It was insensitive at best, and provocative at worst."
The Columbia PD issued an official statement clarifying that it is a "separate entity from CPOA" and in no way condones "the use of social media, or any other medium, to promote divisive messages in our community."
Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid also weighed in on the issue in a Facebook post of his own, condemning the CPOA post as "insensitive and divisive" and describing the union as a repeat offender. "This is not the first time that CPOA has reflected poorly on the brave and dedicated men and women of the Columbia Police Department," he wrote.
The CPOA pulled the post and replaced it with a straightforward expression of support for Officer Wilson and others like him caught in difficult situations.
"The CPOA’s post on Sunday regarding Darren Wilson was interpreted in a manner that was not the intended message,” the union said Monday. “In an effort to resolve the confusion, the CPOA wants to say this plainly: CPOA supports Officer Darren Wilson and all law enforcement officers who endure similar situations."
H/t Washington Times.