— Mike Benner (@MikeBennerKGW) November 25, 2015
A police officer in Oregon this week was taken off street duty following a social media post in which he said he would have to “babysit these fools,” in reference to an activist march scheduled for later this week.
According to the Oregonian, Hurlman has been an officer for more than two decades.
“Black Lives Matter is planning to protest at Lloyd Center on black Friday. Oh joy, stuck late again at work to babysit these fools,” his since-removed tweet reportedly said.
The message, which was retweeted, was voluntarily removed from Twitter, according to a news release from the Portland Police Bureau. The release doesn’t name the officer nor does it detail the tweet, but news reports posted screenshots.
“This post is in no way a reflection on how members of the Portland Police Bureau view these community groups or their peaceful expression of free speech,” Donna Henderson, acting Portland police chief, said in a statement Tuesday.
The officer has been “reassigned to an off-street assignment” and the post was under review, Henderson said.
In her statement, Henderson noted that the bureau is aware “tensions are running high across the United States,” and said police were “mindful of that and remain committed to building relationships and trust.”
New of the social media post came as protesters have gathered in Minneapolis, where 24-year-old Jamar Clark was fatally shot during an encounter with police, and Chicago, where the video of 2014 police shooting that left a black teenager dead was recently released.
“I am highly offended, and I think other people should be,” said Teressa Raiford, a community activist involved in Black Lives Matter and Don’t Shoot Portland told the Oregonian. “I think it’s very unprofessional, especially someone in his position.”
KATU, an ABC affiliate in Portland, got in touch with Hurlman’s wife, and reported:
His wife, Christy, declined an on-camera interview Tuesday night but called the tweet silly and in hindsight, stupid.
She posted on Facebook that her husband is a “good man with a good heart” and would protect everyone’s right to protest and voice their opinion.
(Local Black Lives Matter officials also released a statement to KATU, in which they said that Friday’s protest was organized by Don’t Shoot Portland, another organization. The local BLM group said it wasn’t officially affiliated with Friday’s demonstration.)
An e-mail sent to Hurlman early Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.