LANSING (WWJ) - The head of the Michigan State Police is learning a hard lesson about social media: Private posts with inflammatory comments won't stay private very long.
Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue weighed in on NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem in a Facebook post Sunday, calling them "millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans." She also said they were "a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates."
The post was private and could only be seen by those connected to her Facebook page, but it reportedly upset some of the department's black troopers.
Etue apologized in another Facebook post last night, saying it was a mistake to share what was apparently a meme.
"I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended," she said. "I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan."
Still, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality is calling for Etue's firing, saying her comments will exacerbate tensions between state and citizens.
"This is a deep-seeded mindset," Coalition spokesperson Kenneth Reed told WWJ's Charlie Langton. "We are also definitely afraid that this may be permeated down to the ranks of troopers who are patrolling our highways and our cities throughout the state of Michigan. This has the potential to impact troopers' attitudes not only here in Detroit and Highland Park but in other black enclaves throughout the cities in the state of Michigan."
Reed said he would like to see Etue take it upon herself to step down instead of being forced out of office.
"The Colonel needs to go," he said. "We need to get people in here who are clear minded in their approach to law enforcement and how the express themselves to the community at large."
The full message Etue posted read: "Dear NFL, We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans. Who wins a football game has ZERO impact on our lives. Who fights for and defends our nations has EVERY impact on our lives. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitles, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates. Signed, We the People."
At least one local chief is supporting the Colonel. Bill Dwyer, of the Warren Police, says Etue is a "true professional" when it comes to leading law enforcement.
"It's a controversial post, no doubt about it, but she's apologized. She said she made a mistake. I mean, end of story," Dwyer said, adding that Etue shouldn't face any punishment from Gov. Rick Snyder. "Let's remember her background, her reputation, and what she's done as far as a leader in the state and a leader of the state police."
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