West Linn officer on leave amid investigation into Black Lives M - KPTV - FOX 12

West Linn officer on leave amid investigation into Black Lives Matter Facebook posts

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(Courtesy: Facebook) (Courtesy: Facebook)
(Courtesy: Facebook) (Courtesy: Facebook)

A West Linn officer was placed on administrative leave Thursday amid an investigation into the officer's social media posts.

Officer Tom Newberry’s Facebook page was public for hours on Thursday, and a quick scroll down the page shows he has plenty to say on social media.

But at least two posts regarding the Black Lives Matter movement could get the officer in trouble. West Linn police are now investigating whether Newberry violated department and city policies.

Wednesday, Newberry shared a Tea Party blog post about upcoming Black Lives Matter protests. Above the post he wrote, “So day of target practice?”

Another post suggested more violence: “When encountering such mobs remember, there are 3 pedals on your floor. Push the right one all the way down,” Newberry wrote. 

“So that’s implying police officers should run citizens over,” said Portland resident John Slaughter, who is active in Portland’s Black Lives Matter movement as well  as Don’t Shoot PDX. 

Slaughter also said he finds the posts disgusting, but not surprising.  

“He’s probably not the only one who has those thoughts and views - and knowing it’s so close to home, sometimes it just leaves you speechless,” Slaughter said. 

A West Linn human resources manager told Fox 12 the city does have employee social media policies in place. Fox 12 requested copies of the policies, but was not provided the documents. 

Newberry’s Facebook page remained public for much of Thursday, but the photos and posts were were no longer available shortly after 7 p.m. 

Slaughter said he shared some of Newberry’s controversial posts on his own Facebook feed, ensuring that more people are able to see them. 

“It almost gives people like me more angst in the movement to want to go out and do some real work in the street,” Slaughter said. “It makes you think about having a little bit more motivation for the fight and a little more inspiration now.”

Ironically, Newberry also posted about the Seattle police union president who recently resigned following a Facebook post he shared about the Dallas police shooting. 

“So offering an opinion on the insanity is reason to step down?” Newberry wrote in a post accompanying an article. “Have some (male genitalia) tell them to go pound sand and step up for your troops."

Fox 12 attempted to reach Newberry, but a family member said he does not wish to comment.

A spokesman for the Clackamas County Peace Officer’s Association, which represents West Linn officers, also said the association has no comment. 

West Linn Police released a statement saying:

The West Linn Police Department takes allegations of wrong doing seriously and will take appropriate action to hold our members accountable. We work hard to maintain the trust of those we serve.

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