Detroit police officer fired over social media post
Detroit — The rookie Detroit cop suspended for a social media post over the weekend has been fired, Police Chief James Craig said Monday.
"He was terminated," Craig said in a news conference at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters downtown while joined by members of the police department's command staff. "This is his last day on our payroll. Tomorrow, he will no longer be a Detroit police officer. He is clear on that."
The chief's remarks came about a day after he said he suspended the officer, Sean Bostwick, 27, for allegedly posting a Snapchat photo of himself in uniform on Saturday with the caption "another night to Rangel (sic) up these zoo animals."
It also came hours after Bostwick met with the chief to discuss the situation. Craig said he and Bostwick met in the chief's office about 10:30 a.m. Monday. Bostwick was accompanied by a union representative.
"This is not reflective of this department," Craig said. "We expect a high level of professionalism when we're serving the public."
The chief said the post was shocking and he received dozens of phone calls from other police officers, city officials and community leaders about it.
Bostwick expressed some remorse about the post during his meeting with the chief, Craig said. "He took responsibility for it. He admitted that he did this. He said he didn't mean it the way it came off."
The officer took the post down immediately, but it had already gone viral, the police chief said.
Craig said insensitive comments of this nature will not be accepted in the department or the city. "If you feel that way, you're not welcome here and we're not going to have any tolerance for this kind of behavior," he said.
He also said Bostwick had been in the field and out of the police academy for about two months. The officer had been with the force for about 18 months, but spent much of the time at the academy because of low test scores, according to the chief. He was assigned to the department's 12th Precinct.
Because the officer was still on probation, Craig said he was able to "take quick, decisive action" in the matter. The situation would have been different if Bostwick was a tenured officer.
Craig said he hopes that another police department doesn't hire Bostwick as an officer.
"I think any department that hires him will be concerned about this post," he said. "I don't think any city would want to take a chance or risk, but that's between him and a potential employer."