KANSAS CITY, MO – A Kansas City Police Department officer vented on Facebook about the Michael Brown shooting, and now he faces an internal review.
Officer Marc Catron’s postings have produced outrage on social media, particularly because he made strong comments about Michael Brown. He shared a picture that he and others have claimed is Brown in a compromising position, but it’s actually an accused killer from Oregon.
A spokeswoman for the Kansas City Police Department said this is a personnel issue that will be addressed with the officer. The department also provided a copy of the department’s eight-page social media policy.
“Because members of this department are held to a higher standard than general members of the public, the online activities of members of this department shall reflect such professional expectations and standards,” the department policy states.
Two cousins were accused in Oregon of using a sledge hammer to kill their great-grandmother last year. In one of the photos, Joda Cain has a wad of money stuffed in his mouth while pointing a gun at the camera.
People have posted this photo of Cain to Facebook, including KCTV5’s Facebook page, claiming that it’s Brown, when it’s not. Catron posted the photo of Cain to his Facebook page and wrote, “I’m sure young Michael Brown is innocent and just misunderstood. I’m sure he is a pillar of the Ferguson community.”
Catron also spoke about the violence that has rocked Ferguson over the past week since a police officer shot the unarmed teen.
“Remember how white people rioted after OJ’s acquittal? Me neither,” according to a Facebook post that Catron shared on his own Facebook page.
Some outraged residents shared their posts on KCTV5’s Facebook page.
Sarah Jackson saw the posts and she contacted the police department brass. She said she is concerned about such racially insensitive posts by a police officer during such a tumultuous time.
“Right now with all the tension going on in Ferguson and there’s a lot of uncertainty right now and I feel like those pictures were demeaning and judgmental, very one-sided,” Jackson said. “These are the people that serve and protect us. And more than one wrong doesn’t make a right.”
The police department’s social media page also states that employees are free to express their thoughts as private citizens on social media sites but their speech should not “negatively affect the public or professional perception of the department.”
The department policy states that officers should not post images or make statements that “ridicule, malign, disparage or otherwise express bias anything any race, any religion or other protected class of individuals.”
That’s what Jackson believes Catron did.
“I feel like the way he addressed it was very racial,” Jackson said.
KCTV5 attempted to reach Catron, but was unsuccessful. The department declined additional comment, saying it’s a personnel issue.
Kansas City resident Tanisia Davis, who is Cain’s aunt, was stunned to see her nephew’s picture associated with posts on Facebook about Brown.
“I was just confused and shocked,” Davis said. “The police officer thought it was funny? Nobody is laughing. It’s not funny.”
Davis was offended by Catron’s posts included the Simpson one.
“What is he trying to say? That all black teenagers are gangsters?” she asked.