Milwaukee Cop Loses Job for Racist Memes
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – December 21, 2018
The Fire and Police Commission upheld on Wednesday the firing of a Milwaukee police officer over social media posts he made in the aftermath of the tasing of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown.
Police Chief Alfonso Morales said he fired Andrade because his posts violated the department's social media policy and compromised the officer's ability to testify in other cases.
Bucks guard Sterling Brown has filed a civil rights suit against the Police Department claiming wrongful arrest and excessive force during his arrest and tasing about 2 a.m. on January 26 in the parking lot of a Walgreens drug store at West National Avenue and South Layton Boulevard. Brown accused officers of targeting him because he's black, NBC News reported.
Three months after the incident, Andrade shared a meme of NBA star Kevin Durant mocking his hair.
A remorseful, sometimes tearful, Andrade told the commissioners that he regretted the posts but that most "were jokes and some of them were my views."
“My father was murdered when I was a kid.” Erik Andrade said, explaining that that’s one of the reasons why he wanted to be a police officer.
“I’m a real person. A real cop. And I take pride in everything I do. And I’m sorry for having to take your time like this. And sitting in front of you because I never dreamed of it. To be honest, like I said, it’s a disgrace to me, my family, and everything I stand up for,” Andrade said, emotionally delivering his testimony to the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission in Milwaukee Town Hall on Wednesday.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonzo Morales defended his decision to fire Andrade saying the Facebook posts brought negative attention to the department.
The chief claimed the District Attorney's Office warned him it would not be able to use testimony from Andrade in any future cases.
“And by removing that tool, the ability to testify, that basically puts me as the leader of the city of Milwaukee police department in a position to say, I can’t use this officer out on the streets,” Morales added.
Andrade said he was a born again Christian and he still wants to do good things for the city.
“I know this happened for a reason regardless if I get my job back or not. The Lord knows my heart.”
Two year ago Andrade ran into a burning building to save lives and Andrade’s attorney pointed out none of the officers involved in the actual tasing and arrest of sterling brown have lost their jobs, but only Andrade did.