Future of corrections officer who made controversial post to be - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Future of corrections officer who made controversial post to be decided soon

(Source: Facebook) (Source: Facebook)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Professional Standards Unit has finished its investigation into a Louisville Metro Corrections officer who shared a controversial meme on his Facebook page. Now, Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton will make a decision about Sgt. Derek Hale's future at Metro Corrections.
 
In July, Hale shared a meme on his personal Facebook page that had a generic police officer and said, "If we really wanted you all dead, all we have to do is stop patrolling your neighborhoods – and wait." The officer commented on the photo and said "Ha … truth."
 
Hale was immediately suspended. The first two weeks were unpaid and he's been on paid leave since July 27. Many in the community, including the Urban League, found the post troubling.

When this first happened, Director Bolton sent WAVE 3 News a statement saying in part, "Sergeant Hale's use of social media was associated with blatant racial bias. Every day the men and women of Metro Corrections work to strengthen race relations in this community. Sgt. Hale's social media decision has hurt those good efforts."

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WAVE 3 News spoke to Tracy Dotson, the union president representing Hale. Dotson says he's reached out to Metro Corrections several times to find out if and when Sgt. Hale will return to work.  Dotson adds that Hale has learned a great deal since this all happened and has apologized.

"He is not a racist," said Dotson. "He does not have those thoughts. He thought he was sharing something that was funny. We all know how dangerous that can be sometimes."

Metro Corrections won't comment any further until reaching a conclusion.
 
Just days after Hale's post, Metro Police officer Ryan Scanlan shared the same image. LMPD's Professional Standards Unit is investigating. Because of the Police Officers Bill of Rights, any person in consolidated local government is prohibited from making any public statement about an ongoing investigation. LMPD says Scanlan was never suspended and continues working regular duties pending the investigation.

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