LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -The Louisville Metro Department of Corrections suspended one of its white sergeants for a racially insensitive Facebook post he shared on his personal social media account.
Just two days after Sgt. Derek Hale shared a controversial meme on his Facebook page, Louisville Metro Department of Correction Director, Mark Bolton, suspended him saying he has directed an expedited internal investigation into Hale’s conduct.
“Every day the men and women of Metro Corrections work to strengthen race relations in this community,” Bolton said in a prepared statement. “Sgt. Hale’s social media decision has hurt those good efforts.”
Bolton continued, “This nation is in the midst of an agitated and inflamed public reaction to police shootings of black men. A Metro Corrections Sergeant made a conscious decision to use social media to react to this national outrage. Sgt. Hale had an obligation to use social media in a way that does not bring discredit to Metro Corrections. I will use every measure to protect the integrity of Metro Corrections and my staff.”
The meme that Hale posted on his Facebook page featured a photo of a white police officer with a caption that read, “If we really wanted you dead all we’d have to do is stop patrolling your neighborhoods……And wait.”
Hale’s post and the decision to suspend him have generated many reactions from people in the Louisville area, including the President and CEO of the local Urban League, Sadiqa Reynolds.
In a statement posted on the Louisville Urban League website, Reynolds wrote:
Like many in our community, we are deeply troubled by the offensive Facebook posting of Sergeant Derek Hale, with Louisville Metro Corrections. This is the type of sentiment and rhetoric that has brought us to a tipping point in this country and many of us to our knees and to the streets. At this national moment, when we all need to be more reflective and humane across lines of race, it is impossible to see how someone in his position of leadership would not understand how such an approach reduces us all.
Read Reynolds’ full statement at the Louisville Urban League.