Police Department: Arkansas Officer Suspended Without Pay After ‘Insensitive’ Social Media Post

An Arkansas police officer has been suspended without pay for 30 days after an internal investigation found that he had violated his department’s social media policy with an “insensitive” post, authorities said Tuesday.

According to a news release from the Jonesboro Police Department, the post on officer John Shipman’s personal Facebook page concerned “current media coverage of a national news event.”

NEA Report, a news outlet based in northeast Arkansas, posted screenshots showing Shipman asserted that “80 percent are false,” referring to rape accusations. His Thursday comment was in response to a post about Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at a hearing where she said U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, according to the outlet.

In another screenshot posted by NEA Report, Shipman wrote: “I’ve taken many reports. She’s lying.”

A complaint about Shipman’s post was made Friday, authorities said.

The Police Department said the internal investigation examined the five sexual assault reports Shipman had recorded in the last 10 years. Four of the cases were reported rapes and were eventually turned over to detectives to investigate, according to the release.

“Law enforcement employees bear the responsibility of maintaining their own conduct and the integrity of the government entity they represent,” Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said in a statement. “They are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring discredit upon them.”

In addition to his suspension, Shipman will undergo “further training” to learn how to speak with sexual assault victims, the release states.

From The Arkansas Democrat Gazette