Sterling Heights Police Lt. Mario Bastianelli said the city won't tolerate hate.
“During the course of the Police Department’s internal investigation, and prior to disciplinary action, the police officer in question resigned,” Bastianelli said in a statement Monday. “This incident is confirmation that the City must remain vigilant in identifying and rooting out such behavior, which has no place in a municipal organization that serves an incredibly diverse population. This incident further shows the City’s commitment to making sure each and every resident, business owner, and visitor feels welcome and safe in Sterling Heights. This objective is integral to realizing the City’s vision for Sterling Heights as a community that is vibrant, inclusive, and distinctive.”
Police have declined to name the 48-year-old officer, who is a 20-year veteran of the department.
A post on the cop’s Facebook page showed former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Floyd, below the words, “when you gotta change a tire but dont wanna get your trousers dirty.”
Chauvin, who is white, is headed to trial next month on a murder charge for the May 25 death of Floyd, a Black man. Sterling Heights placed the officer on leave after WXYZ-TV exposed the Facebook post.
In a previous statement, the city of Sterling Heights said it “disavows the abhorrent imagery and messaging that appears in the post.”
“The Police Department is committed to completing the investigation and disciplinary process as quickly as possible,” the post stated. “It must be clear that there is no place for hateful and offensive content like that within our community.”
In nearby Shelby Township, police Chief Robert Shelide was suspended but ultimately kept his job for tweets that advocated police brutality against Black Lives Matter protesters.
Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.