A rookie Detroit police officer was fired after officials said he posted a photo of himself on Snapchat with a caption referring to another night rounding up “these zoo animals.”
“He was terminated,” police Chief James Craig told reporters at a news conference Monday. Craig said he was “appalled” by the “highly insensitive” post.
“This will be his last day on our payroll. He will no longer be a Detroit police officer. He is clear on that,” said Craig.
Sean Bostwick, 27, posted the racially insensitive message Sunday, setting off a firestorm on social media, The Detroit News reported. Bostwick is white; Detroit’s population is 80-percent black.
“Another night to Rangel up these zoo animals,” Bostwick wrote in his Snapchat caption, misspelling “wrangle.”
Craig suspended Bostwick the same day, soon after complaints began rolling in. He met with Bostwick, who “took responsibility” for the message, the chief said.
“He admitted that he did this. He expressed a great deal of remorse,” Craig told reporters. “He didn’t mean it the way it came off.”
But the chief added: “Those who harbor those type of feelings should know you’re not welcome here. We’re not going to have any tolerance for this kind of behavior. This is not reflective of this department.”
Craig said the police academy emphasizes “integrity and service to the community ... When we make a statement like this, what’s the message?”
Bostwick was still on probation after 16 months on the force because he had to spend extra time at the police academy for more training, said Craig. Consequently, he didn’t have full job protection and was easily fired, the chief said.