SANFORD, FL – An officer has been fired from the Sanford Police Department over improper posts she admitted to making on Facebook, including one that included racial slurs.
Excerpts from Officer Vanessa Knode’s Facebook account, included in an investigation report released by the Sanford Police Department, showed a derogatory word used three times in an October 2012, including twice in the same status update:
“N**** be acting like their s*** don’t stink. They should be bowing down to us. F*** that!!! I’m in the mood to put n****s on blast lol”
The third instance was in a comment that followed. The comment was partially cut off in the police report, but experts follow:
“…I don’t sweat a n**** whether … being in a relationship or not. It’s either you want to talk to me I’m down but if it’s [that] I have to bow down to you and kiss [your] a** I’ll step back. At the end of the day [you’re] not feeling me so why should I feel you and give you the time of day…”
Police said a second excerpt from Knode’s Facebook account, posted in January, showed frustration above having to take her kids from school in her patrol car two hours after getting off duty, because her husband could not do it and her car wouldn’t start.
The report said another officer who follows Knode on Facebook reported her posts, believing that they were in violation of department policy.
Knode was questioned in February and admitted to writing the posts that included the racial slurs, saying she was “venting” against her husband at the time.
“If you read the context about it, it’s not directing it towards a person or a group or anything,” said Knode, according to a transcript of the interview. “My husband’s white, so obviously, you know, I wasn’t using it as, you know, a racial slur like they’re making it out to be. It’s just what — the way I grew up.”
“I know it’s not excusable,” Knode continued. “I apologize if anyone takes offense to it, but it’s basically from when I was growing up, upbringing, it’s ‘bro’ or, you know, ‘these guys.'”
The police report said Knode then conceded her words might not be considered appropriate by certain people, and acknowledged it was not acceptable language used by a police officer, either privately or on duty.
Knode also admitted that she drove her kids to school using her patrol car while off-duty.
Sanford police said Knode was under investigation for some time. She was initially relieved from duty Jan. 30, and later fired following an internal investigation.