CHICO (CBS13) — A Chico Police officer is under investigation by his own department after a city councilman accused him of putting racially insensitive material on his Facebook page.
City Councilman Randall Stone called for an internal review after discovering the posts on Officer Todd Boothe’s public Facebook page.
One featured a skull painted like the confederate flag, another shows the president’s face painted like the Joker. There’s another featuring the president dressed in tribal garb, while another post has a homophobic slur.
Stone says the images were public on the page for anyone to see.
“He posted the materials,” he said. “They’ve been out there, open and notorious they’ve been out there for years.”
Stone came across the images after Boothe posted on the councilman’s Facebook page, calling the councilman a name and incompetent.
The Chico Police Officer’s Association accuses Stone of retaliating against the officer’s negative post.
“I feel this is a witch hunt,” said Peter Durfee. “Bottom line, he got his feelings hurt.”
“Oh it’s patently absurd,” Stone said.
“If he doesn’t like getting his feelings hurt, he’s in the line of work,” Durfee said in a prepared statement.
“Typical, this is the CPOA,” Stone said.
In any case, Stone is getting his wish. The department is opening an investigation.
The officer’s supporters say he’s protected by the First Amendment, and call the posts satire, not racism.
“Last time I checked, and like I keep saying, this is still the USA, and freedom of speech is freedom of speech,” said Durfee.
The association says Boothe hasn’t been disciplined and is not on administrative leave as the investigation continues.