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Investigation recommends firing detective who appeared to mock protesters hit by car

Investigation recommends firing detective who appeared to mock protesters hit by car
© Washington State Patrol @wspd2pio

An internal investigation at the King County Sheriff’s Office recommended firing a detective who appeared to mock Seattle protesters hit by a car in a Facebook post, officials announced Tuesday.

The King County Sheriff’s Office posted the results of the internal probe of Detective Mike Brown’s Facebook posts, saying Undersheriff Patti Cole-Tindall “is recommending Detective Brown’s employment at KCSO be terminated.” 

The sheriff’s office noted Brown has the opportunity to meet with Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht who will make the final decision on his employment.  

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The office put Brown on leave in July due to his reportedly controversial social media posts, including one from July 4 with a car hitting a group of people with the caption “All lives splatter” and “Keep your (expletive) off the road,” NBC News reported.  

Earlier on the Fourth of July, a vehicle that drove onto an interstate closed for Black Lives Matter protests hit two demonstrators — Summer Taylor, 24, and Diaz Love, 32. Taylor died from her injuries, and Love was hospitalized in serious condition. 

Cole-Tindall said in a memo that the office has received hundreds of complaints regarding Brown’s post, and the inquiry uncovered seven other controversial posts, according to NBC News. 

"The blow to the department’s integrity was staggering,” Cole-Tindall said. “The damage to your integrity and ability to continue to serve as a law enforcement officer cannot be repaired.”

The investigation report seen by NBC News said Brown commented on his July 4 post saying, “I see a couple of people got infected with Covid-19 from the hood of a car on I-5 last night."

Other posts that received scrutiny included his post of a video showing an officer in Baltimore punching a Black woman after she punched the officer’s partner, which said, “When in doubt… Knock em out.” 

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A different post reportedly included a video of an officer shooting people, which Brown captioned, “Here they come CHOP CHAZ” in reference to Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Zone. Demonstrators formulated the police-free zone in June before Seattle Mayor Jenny DurkanJenny DurkanSeattle is first major US city to see 70 percent of residents fully vaccinated, mayor says Will Seattle officials use the same lawsuit defense they want to take away from police? Washington state officials warn providers offering VIP vaccine access MORE (D) ordered officers to evacuate people from the area. 

The detective reportedly told an investigator he did not realize his posts were controversial, saying he did not connect “All lives splatter” to “Black Lives Matter.”

He said he published the July 4 post because it reminded him of his father who used to say “go play in the freeway” when he was angry, according to an investigation transcript obtained by NBC News.