An Iowa police chief is stammering his way through a confusing apology after seemingly getting caught suggesting folks murder protesters.
Protests against police brutality and racism have continued going strong long after the four officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were arrested and charged, the demands that originally motivated the start of the protests weeks ago.
Over the weekend, a man in Des Moines drove his truck through a crowd of protesters blocking off the street during a demonstration over an alleged incident of racial discrimination by the grocery chain Hy-Vee. The driver was ultimately named, shamed, and fired for his actions.
But things took a new turn when, on a Facebook post concerning the incident, Sioux Rapids Police Chief Tim Porter was caught commenting “HIS THE GAS AND HANG ON OVER THE ROAD BUMPS.”
Screenshots of the comment were shared to Twitter, along with Porter’s job listing as police chief on his personal Facebook and contact info for the department.
“Nothing to see here, just the police chief in a small Iowa town talking about murdering protesters,” wrote @Ollie_XVX.
People immediately began demanding an explanation.
After the way police departments across the country have brutalized and mistreated protesters, nobody is surprised that a police chief would actively cheer on civilians doing the same, but people still want Porter held accountable.
Calls to demand action from the police department and local government circulated across both Twitter and Facebook, with the backlash getting so fierce that Porter deleted his Facebook entirely, and local government website was also taken down.
And some folks expressed concern that this just speaks to a larger problem among law enforcement throughout the country.
Porter issued an apology after the backlash.
Did he apologize for encouraging violence against protesters? Not exactly. But he did apologize for…commenting on the wrong Facebook thread. Uh huh.
“I have a huge apology to all that saw my Facebook page yesterday of myself making a comment about running over a person in the street holding a USA sign,” he said in a statement. “Someone called me last night and asked me about it, I was just surprised myself.
“I was on another post working and somehow it accidentally was posted on the wrong post. I just want to publicly apologize for my horrible mistake, my posting was a total accident.”
Continuing to ramble on, Porter added that he “doesn’t want to offend anyone,” and is totally “all for peaceful protest, bad cops getting removed.”
“People that know me, know I would never encourage anyone to run over any protester or anyone,” he insisted. “I’m for change like everyone. I feel horrible for my mistake. I’m sorry for all the confusion.”
Well, someone’s confused alright, but it’s not the folks who read Porter’s Facebook comment.