Maryland officer who criticized two teens for their deaths in car crash suspended

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A Maryland law enforcement officer has been suspended after a comment he posted on his personal Facebook page about teenagers who were killed last week in a crash.

The officer with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office wrote “F— ’em, shouldn’t have been driving that fast.” The comment was reported to administrators by the public and other employees in the department. Authorities didn’t release the officer’s name.

The county had three crashes Friday that left four young people dead and another person seriously injured, according to Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry.

In one of the crashes, Colin Bipat and Desmond Cooke – who were both 17 and students at Westlake High School in Waldorf, Md.- died after the car they were riding in crashed and struck a traffic light pole in Waldorf, Md. An 18-year-old student with serious injuries was airlifted to a hospital.

Berry wrote a statement posted Monday on the agency’s Facebook page about the officer’s comments, calling them “highly inappropriate and extremely insensitive.” He said the officer “should have known better,” especially given that he works in a unit that handles crash scenes.

He said he reached out to the officer as soon as he knew of the comment. Berry said the officer told him that he had “already removed” the comment and apologized on his personal Facebook page.

The officer has been suspended with pay, according to Diane Richardson, a department spokeswoman. Officials said there will likely be more “administrative actions,” as they are reviewing the incident.

Berry apologized for the officer’s comment and said it “does not reflect the opinions of myself nor the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.”

He added, “All of us here take this incident very seriously.”

In his statement, Berry said that he was saddened by the remarks and found them hurtful to the families of those who were killed and to fellow officers. He said he has worked through several programs to try to establish a relationship with the public based on “integrity, respect, service and compassion for others.”

“One disgusting comment, one insensitive sentence and an officer’s total lack of judgment certainly has the potential to harm that relationship,” he wrote.

(The Washington Post)

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