A police officer working in a New Jersey township was fired for referring to Black Lives Matter protesters as “terrorists” in a social media post published on her personal Facebook account.
Along with Hopewell Township Officer Sara Erwin, another cop will be demoted and suspended after posting a reply to the Facebook post.
“Last night as I left for work I had my two kids crying for me not to go to work. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way I did last night. And then I watched people I know and others I care about going into harms way. I love my police family like my own,” Erwin stated in her post on Facebook.
“So when you share posts and things on Facebook I’d really appreciate if you’d THINK before doing so. I’ve seen so many black lives matter [sic] hashtags in these posts. Just to let you know — they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don’t care if I die,” she added.
In addition to Erwin losing her job, Sgt. Mandy Gray, the first female officer hired by the township, will be suspended for six months. She also is set to lose the rank of sergeant, which she received in 2019 and which made her the first woman in the department to achieve the rank.
The officers’ lawyer, Frank Crivelli, said Monday evening that both Erwin and Gray are exemplary and decorated officers with “absolutely no disciplinary history.”
Initially, Erwin and several employees who reacted to the post were investigated and placed on leave, police said at the time. Police Chief Lance Maloney apologized to the community for the post shortly after it appeared.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation and found no incidents or evidence of criminal behavior, thus the issue was sent back to the township which voted unanimously to fire Erwin.
The attorney for the pair said that several appeals are currently underway which utilize arguments on the grounds of the First Amendment.