A New Jersey police officer who posted on Facebook that Black Lives Matter protesters are « terrorists » who don’t care if she dies has been fired – a move her lawyer describes as « far left. » Hopewell Township Police Officer Sara Erwin was fired Friday by a unanimous vote of the town committee that accepted a hearing officer’s recommendation, NJ.com reported.
A second officer, Sgt. Mandy Gray, became downgraded and suspended for six months for replying to a comment on Erwin’s post in June 2020, her attorney Frank Crivelli told The Post Tuesday. « The fact that she supported her position as a fellow officer was why why she was actually suspended, « Crivelli said of Gray.
While writing on Facebook using the username Sara Elizabeth, Erwin said her children cried that she would not go to work on June 8th n should – two weeks after George Floyd’s police custody in Minneapolis sparked violent protests across the country.
« I don’t think I ever felt the way I did last night, » was Erwin’s contribution. “And then I watched people I know and others who care about being harmed. I love the police family as much as my own. «
» I’ve seen so many black life hashtags on these posts, « the post continued. “Just to let you know – they’re terrorists. They hate me. You hate my uniform. They don’t care if I die. «
Six community workers, including five members of the police force, were on leave for supporting Erwin’s position, The Trentonian reported in June.
The now-retired Hopewell Township Police Chief Lance Maloney declined to do so However, a source identified them as Gray, Detective Mark Panzano, officers Erwin and John Ferner, dispatcher Gregory Peck, and truck driver Steve Harbat, the newspaper reported.
Erwin urged anyone who saw Black Lives Matter backed « unfriending » her, calling on Panzano, Gray, Ferner, Peck and Harbat to show support for the post, according to the post.
Gray was promoted to sergeant last year, department officials said in February 2019. Panzano meanwhile received a letter of recommendation for his actions during a house fire earlier this month.
Erwin’s post was approved by the public prosecutor of Me rcer County investigated but no criminal complaints were filed. The ward handled the discipline distributed on Friday, NJ.com reported.
Erwin was hired by the department in 2001, while Gray had been employed since 1999. Both had « absolutely flawless records » with no internal complaints before the Facebook post, Crivelli said.
« They’re trying to make an example of them, and I think they are touching the far left, » Crivelli said about the community’s decision.
Appeals are pending in the Supreme Court, citing concerns about the first change on behalf of Erwin and Gray. Erwin wants her job back while Gray tries to restore her rank and lift her six-month suspension, Crevelli said.
Panzano, Ferner, Peck and Harbat received written reprimands and remain employed in the community, Crevelli said.
Hopewell Township Police Director Robert Karmazin, who took over the division in November, made a statement to the Post on Tuesday reaching out for comment.
« With the matter under active litigation, Hopewell will Township Committee, Hopewell Township Police Department and Hopewell Township staff are not making any further comments at this point, « the statement said.
Township Committee member Julie Blake, who serves as mayor, declined starting to comment on Monday, citing the confidentiality of the staff, reported NJ.com.
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