A police officer from Portland, Oregon was pulled from patrolling a Black Friday protest after he condemned Black Lives Matter on Twitter, The New York Daily News reports.
Officer John Hurlman called protestors of Friday’s “Black Lives Matter, Not Black Friday” fools and expressed his anger for working during the protest. The veteran cop deleted the message after it gained traction, but he was still suspended by his police department.
Acting Police Chief Donna Henderson released a press release last Tuesday, stating Hurlman’s views didn’t reflect the department as a whole.
Oregon Live reports:
“This post is in no way a reflection of how members of the Portland Police Bureau view these community groups or their peaceful expression of free speech,” Henderson said, in a prepared statement. “Just as with any protest or demonstration, police will work to ensure a safe, secure and orderly event for all community members and to minimize disruptions to traffic.”
Police said over 300 attended the protest at Holladay Park, which was organized by Don’t Shoot PDX. No arrests were made.
This wasn’t the first time Hurlman found himself in hot water over online antics. In September 2012, the officer was given a stern warning after he shared his opinions via work email of an investigation that showed officers were using excessive force against mentally disabled civilians.
Oregon Live reports:
Hurlman sent an email message on his patrol car’s mobile computer that went out to the entire police force by accident. It was while he was seated in his patrol car, listening to radio coverage of a news conference where Oregon’s U.S. Attorney and members of the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a federal investigation had found Portland police engaged in a pattern of excessive force against people suffering from mental illness.
Annoyed by the outcome, Hurlman intended to respond to another officer’s email but sent a message to the entire police force, writing something like, “This is the same DOJ or people who created Waco and Ruby Ridge.”
Afterwards, Hurlman told The Oregonian that it was a “knee-jerk reaction,” and he apologized for it. At that time, his precinct commander Mike Leloff called him into his office and gave him a stern warning. Hurlman then said he was advised to be careful about what he says and remain respectful.
Many other Black Friday protests took place all over the country. Sales were at a low with $11.6 billion in 2014 to $10.4 billion in 2015.