A Prince George’s County police officer was suspended Tuesday after the department said it learned of a photo in which the man flashes his gun and badge while wearing a campaign T-shirt supporting President Trump — a violation of the department’s social media policy.
The officer was not named in a department news release announcing the suspension and the department did not include the image in question. But a copy of the photo obtained by The Post shows a man sitting in a vehicle with his gun and police badge tucked into his waistband. He is lifting a gray long-sleeved shirt to reveal a navy “Make America Great Again” T-shirt. Beneath the President’s signature campaign call is an “I Voted” sticker.
The department did not specify how they learned of the photo, but said it was posted to social media.
Internal Affairs “immediately” opened an investigation, police said, and reviewed the officer’s social media platforms. A second social media post “causing more concern” was discovered, the department said, though officials did not specify what the post entailed.
Interim Chief Hector Velez suspended the officer’s police powers while internal affairs completes its investigation.
“I fully support an officer’s first amendment rights, however these posts are in violation of the department’s social media policy,” Velez said in a statement. “When I was shown the post that is circulating online, I was concerned and ordered a thorough review of his social media platforms. I don’t condone any inflammatory posts by any officer that would tarnish the reputation of the men and women who do this work admirably each day, or cause the community to lose trust in us.”
The department’s social media policy was updated in December 2019, officials said, and was emailed to the entire agency alongside an instructional video, the department said. It is taught to all recruits and discussed during required in-service training.