Thomas McClay was fired on Tuesday for violating the Denver Police Department’s social media policy guidelines.
The photo posted over the weekend pictured McClay and two other officers with the caption “Let’s start a riot,” according to CBS News. The picture has since been removed and McClay has deleted his Instagram account. (RELATED: Six Atlanta Police Officers Charged After Ripping College Students From Car During A Protest)
Officials said that McClay was already on probation and the decision to remove him was quick, according to CBS4. McClay had just joined the Denver Police Department in October and graduated from the police department’s academy, CBS reported.
UPDATE: #Denver pic.twitter.com/1rxGNbjCfE
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) June 2, 2020
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock responded on Twitter and said “I support Chief Pazen’s decision and regret this occurred at a moment in time when we must all bring out the very best of ourselves to meet the challenges before us.”
The Denver Police Protective Association, in a statement obtained by CBS4, said the post was “inflammatory, insensitive, and quite frankly, misguided” and called for other officers to “stop using social media to fan the flames of hatred.”
The County Sheriffs of Colorado, the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police have requested that lawmakers make police officers not intervening in excessive force instances a crime, CBS News reported. The agencies cited that this is an expectation for law enforcement officials already, but a law would allow for criminal prosecution if the event occurred.