Community activist speaks out on future of LMDC sergeant who shared controversial meme

Published: Oct. 4, 2016 at 6:13 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2016 at 10:06 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville Metro Corrections sergeant who shared a controversial meme on social media will be meeting with the director of Metro Corrections this week about his future at his job.

Sgt. Derek Hale received his disciplinary action notice last week. Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton will be meeting with Hale on Friday to discuss the violations and review the preliminary recommendation.

According to the union representing Hale, the disciplinary actions could be an additional 29 day suspension without pay. He could also be demoted from sergeant to officer, which would result in a salary cut as well.

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In July, Hale published a meme that showed a man dressed in a police officer uniform accompanied by the following message: "If we wanted you dead, we'd stop patrolling your neighborhoods ... and wait." Hale's comment below the meme: "Ha ... Truth."

Hale was immediately suspended without pay before his discipline was lessened to a paid suspension.

Many in the community have been waiting to see what would happen to Sgt. Hale after his post got attention.

On Tuesday, community activist Christopher  2X said he was disappointed that it has taken this long for Metro Corrections to make a decision about Sgt. Hale's job status. 2X and another activist, Shameka Parrish-Wright, said they know they don't have any power in the outcome of the investigation, but feel a demotion would be an appropriate discipline.

Metro Corrections added that it does not comment on preliminary recommendations in personnel matters at this level, and will reserve comment on any discipline until the employee has had a full opportunity to meet with Bolton for a face-to-face discussion.

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The Fraternal Order of Police said it will appeal any further action taken against Sgt. Hale.  On Tuesday,the FOP president, Tracy Dotson, sent a statement to WAVE 3 News saying, "Metro Government has policies and rules to govern personnel actions, especially those agencies with collective bargaining agreements in place. Christopher 2X and the Urban League do not have a say in adverse personnel actions taken against metro government employees."

Sgt. Hale has apologized for the post on his Face book page.

In the wake of the meme Sgt. Hale shared on September 26th, Metro Corrections, the Louisville Urban League, and the Perception Institute partnered for the first ever implicit bias training for Metro Corrections recruits.  The goal was to educate recruits about biases.

An LMPD officer, Ryan Scanlan, shared the same meme that Hale shared. LMPD's Professional Standards Unit is investigation that post. Scanlan was never suspended and continues working regular duties.

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