An Alabama cop is out of a job after he thought it’d be a good idea to depict a black man in the crosshairs of a rifle scope in answering what to do about armed protesters.
The Hoover Police Department canned the guy this past week after the chief, Nick Derzis, became aware of his subordinate’s deeply disturbing Facebook post … which cropped a photo used as the launch image of an article and superimposed it under a rifle scope filter.
The photo that was now square in the crosshairs … a black guy with a shotgun standing at the foot of a car. The original photo was the primary art for a story about how armed protesters are still standing guard at the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was gunned down in Atlanta. The second half of WSBTV’s headline also read, “What Now?”
This officer’s response … putting the photo under a scope — as if to fire upon the guy — while adding a caption that read, “Exhale. Feel. Pause. Press steadily. That’s what’s next.”
His boss placed him on administrative leave as soon he saw it, but reportedly gave the guy — who’d been on the force there for nearly 5 years — a solid 2 days to explain himself. After giving his response, the chief made the decision to terminate him outright.
Derzis said, “This type of conduct will not be tolerated in our department an is not representative of the professional ism expected by all of our officers. We’re not going to allow one officer to tarnish the reputation of the Hoover Police Department.”
Still, even with the relatively swift action — the Department was met with criticism from local leaders in the community, including activist Carlos Chaverst — the Prez of the Birmingham Justice League. He said the officer’s actions were emblematic of problems with Hoover cops at large, and that a firing alone wouldn’t solve what he considered a bigger issue.