A police sergeant in Arizona who got into hot water for posting a picture on his Facebook account featuring a bullet-marked image of President Obama was demoted and suspended, according to officials.
Pat Shearer, who took the picture, will be demoted to the rank of officer and suspended without pay for two weeks. "We expect our employees to exercise sound judgment and not bring discredit upon our police department," Police Chief Roy Minter said in a written statement.
The Secret Service began an investigation into the photograph, but told Reuters that it was not pursuing any action against Shearer. The photo depicted a group of seven teenagers holding firearms and holding a T-shirt with Shepard Fairey's famous portrait of Obama. The shirt appeared to be shot through with bullets. The Secret Service investigates all threats against a president, even ones made in jest.
"I don't think that the shooting of that T-shirt is that big of a deal," Shearer told ABC15 in Phoenix. "It was more of a political statement," he told ABC15. "It's not like they were going to go out and shoot the president," he said of the teens.
Shortly after taking office, President Obama was receiving about 30 death threats a day, according to the book In The President's Secret Service.