SOCIAL MEDIA INCIDENT INVOLVING
FORMER AND ACTIVE OFFICERS
Last Friday, a story broke about former and active police officers in Southern California threatening to kill a civil rights activist on a private social media page. That same day, news broke that current and retired Northern California police officers were included in this group. In addition, it was revealed, these same officers were in another local private social media page making patently offensive and racist posts. We were sickened by what we saw, which goes against the fabric of our profession, to protect and serve. Their actions are reprehensible and should not be tolerated.
It's been long known that personal social media accounts and law enforcement professionalism rest on a fine line and we've encouraged members to use good judgment when using personal platforms as much as possible. Will Aitchison from Labor Relations Information System (LRIS) wrote down the ten golden rules of social media for public safety personnel.
- Your First Amendment rights are very limited.
- Just because something is an internet meme doesn’t mean you can post it.
- Nothing you post online is truly private. Check your privacy settings. But remember nothing you post is truly private.
- Before posting, ask yourself: if my employer receives a complaint about what I’m going to post, how will they react? If the answer is “not so well” or “they’ll start a disciplinary investigation,” is the post really worth it?
- Be positive with your posts, not negative and critical.
- If you have the slightest doubt about whether to post something, sleep on it. Ask a fellow officer, one you think of as responsible and serious, what he/she thinks.
- Think: Who are your “friend (s).”
- Ask yourself – can someone figure out that I’m a public safety officer from my social media profile or my prior posts?
- Your credibility can be called into question by what you’ve posted online.
- Think about your job, your family, and your safety.
LRIS Podcast on Social Media (Click to Listen)
We are living through unprecedented times and it's tough to be a cop right now. Despite behaviors elsewhere, California's law enforcement and all who PORAC represents are here to serve. We must remain focused on taking care of each other and the oath we took.
Together we will succeed.
Former Police Officer 'Openly Plotting' To Kill BLM Activist Shaun King
Read Newsweek Article
Blog post unmasks private '10-7ODSJ' group
with current, retired officers
Read Mercury News Article