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NOLA cop suspended for Trayvon Martin post

(CBS News) NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans police officer placed on desk duty following a deadly shooting incident was suspended for posting a comment on a local TV station's website calling Trayvon Martin a thug who deserved to die.

Jason Giroir identified himself as a New Orleans Police Department employee when he posted a comment over the weekend on the website in response to an article about a rally supporting Martin. He wrote, "Act like a thug die like one!"

Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was fatally shot last month in Sanford, Fla., by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

The Times-Picayune reports that when another commenter called Giroir's comments racist, Giroir responded: "Eddie come on down to our town with a 'Hoodie' and you can join Martin in HELL and talk about your racist stories!:-P"

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas announced Monday that Giroir has been suspended indefinitely without pay.

"Included in those comments was that he was a member of the NOPD, which have caused me great concern concerning his fitness for duty," Serpas said.

"To say that I'm angry is an understatement; I'm furious," Serpas said. "Let me be clear: the hard working men and women of the NOPD do not condone such statements. Giroir by those statements has embarrassed this department with insensitive, harmful and offensive comments."

The NOPD's Internet policy says no employee should post anything that is illegal, or anything that embarrasses, humiliates, discredits, or harms the operation and reputation of the department.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement "wholeheartedly" supporting Serpas' action against Giroir, adding, "The people of New Orleans and my administration will not tolerate this reckless and offensive behavior. I condemn his statements in the strongest of terms."

Giroir attorney Eric Hessler said, "It was just a boneheaded comment made by him. He probably should be punished for it. He probably should have thought before he began typing."

CBS Affiliate WWL reports that Giroir, a 13-year veteran of the department, was already under investigation for his role in a March 1 shooting that left one man dead and two officers injured after he made a traffic stop.

WWL correspondent Dennis Woltering reports that Giroir has gotten into trouble before, with a 2006 brutality complaint filed by the wife of another NOPD officer. The woman's attorney said Giroir followed the woman to her home after she ran a red light, where she was allegedly "thrown down, mishandled, abused" by Giroir.

Giroir was later administratively cleared of wrongdoing.

The NAACP's local president said two police fatal shootings already have the community on edge, and that Giroir's comments add to the "incendiary atmosphere."

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