Authorities in Kansas said a police officer has been fired from the force after he posted a threatening comment on a black woman’s Facebook page, which may have been in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Facebook page belonged to LaNaydra Williams of Dallas, who told Fox affiliate WDAF that the former officer commented on a photo she posted in 2014, showing her now 5-year-old daughter showing off a pair of new boots.
The comment read: “We’ll see how much her life matters soon . . . better be careful leaving your info open where she can be found :) hold her close tonight, it’ll be the last time.”
Francis Donchez Jr., the police chief in Overland Park, Kan., said in a statement Friday that following an investigation, authorities determined that the officer, who has not been named by the police, “did not meet the standards of professionalism” in the department and was terminated.
“It’s not okay. Not my child — she’s all I have,” Williams told the news station. “India is my heart. That’s not right. We’re already on edge, so why would you do that?”
The former officer’s reported comments, which have not been confirmed by police, came amid tension between Black Lives Matter protesters and law enforcement, following two high-profile fatal police shootings and the sniper attack against officers in downtown Dallas.
The controversial Facebook post was made only hours after the Dallas shooting, which left five officers dead and nine others injured.
Police have also opened a criminal investigation, according to the statement.
“I want to assure our community, and those outside our community, that our highest priority is the safety and welfare of the citizens of Overland Park, and the men and women who protect everyone,” Donchez said in the statement. “I will continue to hold the employees of the Overland Park Police Department accountable for its actions on and off-duty.
“Finally, I want to publicly apologize to those affected by our officer’s personal actions. His actions do not represent the Overland Park Police Department in anyway.”
Williams told local news media that she did not know why the former officer in Kansas targeted her, although the Fox affiliate in Kansas reported that her profile picture showed a person clad in black holding a knife to a police officer’s throat. The police did not confirm this.
Late Thursday night, Williams said, she received a Facebook notification about a comment from someone she did not know. When she clicked on it, she said, she saw that it was from an officer some 500 miles away.
“I don’t know anybody from Kansas,” she told WDAF.
Williams said the Facebook user later deleted the threatening comment without sending her any message explaining why.
“I had no clue who this guy was,” Williams told the Kansas City Star. “I was angry, and then I was scared.”
She told WDAF that Facebook has since deleted her account.
Williams said that when she reported the incident on Friday, authorities wondered whether the officer’s account had been hacked, but they determined later in the day that he had indeed posted the comment.
“I immediately initiated an investigation into the officer’s actions and requested it be completed in a timely manner,” Donchez, the police chief, said in the statement announcing that the officer had been fired.
Overland Park Police spokesman Richard Breshears told The Washington Post that he did not know whether the officer’s comments were aimed at the Black Lives Matters movement.
“Regardless of what was on her Facebook,” he said, “our officer’s comments were not a representation of our department by any means and don’t reflect our department or the men and women of our department.”
Williams said the chief called her to apologize.
Still, Williams said, she worries about how she will tell her young daughter that she was the target.
“She doesn’t know anything about this messed-up world,” she told WDAF, adding: “Maybe I’ll just say he was one bad cop. Not all of them are like that. I don’t think she’ll think they’re all like that either way. She loves police.”