A Massachusetts police detective who posted a photo of her niece at a Black Lives Matter protest — holding a sign that advocated shooting police officers — has been fired, according to a new report.
Rookie Springfield detective Florissa Fuentes — who had just joined the department last year — was fired last month, weeks after she posted the image to her personal Instagram page while off-duty, The Republican reported.
The photo, taken at a protest in Atlanta on May 29 — four days after George Floyd was killed at the hands of police in Minneapolis — shows Fuentes’ niece protesting in Atlanta, holding a sign with the message, “Shoot the F–k Back,” according to the report.
A friend’s sign reads: “Who do we call when the murderer wears the badge?”
Fuentes posted the photo on May 30, quickly setting off a firestorm.
“After I posted it, I started getting calls and texts from co-workers,” Fuentes told the paper. “I was initially confused, but then I realized they thought I was being anti-cop. I wasn’t. I was just supporting my niece’s activism. I had no malicious intent, and I wouldn’t put a target on my own back. I’m out there on the streets every day like everyone else.”
Capt. Trent Duda, head of the Detective Bureau, wrote her up for a “possible” social media violation.
Fuentes removed the post and said she took advice from the Springfield Police Patrolmen’s Association president, Officer Joseph Gentile, to post an apology on the union’s Facebook page.
“To my fellow officers, I recently shared a post that a family member had posted of themselves protesting the recent death of George Floyd,” she wrote, according to the report.
“I did not share this photo with any malicious intent and I should have thought of how others might perceive it. I apologize to all of those who I have offended. I am not anti-cop. I wear my badge proudly and have committed my life and career to being a police officer.”
But that apology was met with even more vitriol, according to the paper.
Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood fired her from the force on June 19.
“That post was hurtful to many of her co-workers,” Clapprood told the outlet, adding that Fuentes was still on probation and the social media post marked her second issue during her time with the department.
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