Kingston Police has launched an internal investigation into a Facebook post made by one of its own officers.
In the post, the Kingston Police officer, Brad Hughes, appears to reason that George Floyd and others were significantly injured or killed because they resisted arrest.
George Floyd, a 48-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while arresting him. An independent autopsy has concluded that Floyd died of asphyxiation. Chauvin was fired by the police department and is now facing second degree murder charges.
“Yes, it was one of our officers who posted that on his personal Facebook account. We only learned of it yesterday (Friday, Jun. 5, 2020), senior command immediately spoke to him, had the post removed, and we have launched an internal investigation into the matter,” said Kingston Police Sergeant Steve Koopman.
Kingston Police say they learned of the post through a citizen’s Twitter post. On Friday, Jun. 5, 2020, Twitter user @joyFWalker tagged the force’s official twitter account with a screenshot of the offending post, stating “Does @KingstonPolice believe that resisting arrest is punishable by death? Still waiting for a comment on #YGK cop’s #racist rant earlier this week. #BLMCanada”.
Since then, several other Kingston-area Twitter and Facebook users have shared a screenshot of Hughes’ post and expressed their anger. “Hey @KingstonPolice. You’ve got an officer blaming George Floyd for “resisting arrest” when he had 3 officers digging their knees into his (expletive) back and he was shown to be compliant. Fire Brad Hughes. Now.” said Twitter user @YouCaughtScott. “@KingstonPolice Just wondering why you’re cool with your officers victim blaming people who die at the hands of police brutality and supporting excessive use of force?” asked Twitter user @kalynaHeffernan.
Hughes, who is currently a Detective Constable with Criminal Investigations in the Fraud Unit, has not been suspended at this time, according to Koopman. “As this occurred very quickly in the afternoon yesterday no decision has been made at this current time to suspend the officer until the investigation further progresses. We are taking this matter very seriously,” Koopman said.