FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A Fort Worth officer was fired Thursday after police said he shared a "racially insensitive and grossly inappropriate" post on a shared personal Facebook page.
Police made the announcement after saying they concluded an internal affairs investigation into the social media post involving officer Roger Ballard.
Last week, Ballard was placed on restricted duty during the investigation, police said. According to CBS 11 sources, one of the images in question is what appears to be a Black man laying in a coffin. The copy on the meme says, "The face you make when you don't understand 'stop resisting.'"
"After reviewing the Internal Affairs findings, Chief Kraus concurred with the chain of command determination that Officer Roger Ballard was in violation of departmental General Orders and that his conduct brought justified unfavorable criticism upon the department," the department said in a statement.
Police said Thursday that Ballard was placed on "indefinite suspension," which is equivalent to termination.
"The Fort Worth Police Department holds every officer to a very high standard and any comment, post, or any communication which is racially insensitive and unprofessional will not be condoned in any manner. Our department will continue to hold accountable those who do not meet that standard," the department said.
Ballard was with the department for 18 years.
Police said the department is also continuing to investigate the involvement of a second officer in the shared post.
Mayor Betsy Price released a statement, saying she supports the termination of the officer.
"I support Chief Kraus' decision to terminate the officer upon the conclusion of the internal affairs investigation. We must continue the hard work of building trust in our community. As I said previously, actions like these that unravel this hard work are extremely disheartening and we must see that individuals are held accountable for their actions," Price said.
Cory Session, who is a part of Fort Worth's Race and Culture Task Force, said that this incident erodes the progress the police department has made in building trust with the people they serve.
"Just unacceptable. You are endangering other officers. You're endangering the lives of citizens and you're creating a narrative that people want to believe. 'See I told you they don't care.' And that's unacceptable by any means," Session said.
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