Massachusetts Detective Fired After Post Supporting Black Lives Matter

Massachusetts Detective Fired After Post Supporting Black Lives Matter

A Massachusetts police detective has been fired after she posted on Instagram showing support for her niece who had attended a Black Lives Matter rally. New recruits salute deceased officers during a New York Police Academy graduation ceremony, Dec. 29, 2014, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo).

A police detective in Massachusetts has been fired for posting on social media in support of her niece who was attending a Black Lives Matter rally.

Florissa Fuentes, who had recently joined the Springfield Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, was fired on June 19 after a May post she made while not on duty, MassLive.com reported. The post wasn’t in support of Black Lives Matter, but of the actions of her niece.

“After I posted it, I started getting calls and texts from co-workers,” Fuentes told MassLive.com. 

The post, which has since been removed, showed her niece protesting in Atlanta with flames leaping up in the background. Her niece held a sign that read, “Shoot the F— Back,” MassLive.com reported. A friend’s sign read, “Who do we call when the murderer wears the badge?”

The Atlanta demonstration was one of hundreds Black Lives Matter protests nationwide following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The photo was taken May 29 and Fuentes posted it the next day.

According to Fuentes, the head of the Springfield police Detective Bureau called her to say the police commissioner was upset with her. Fuentes had already removed the Instagram post on June 1.

“I was initially confused, but then I realized they thought I was being anti-cop. I wasn’t,” Fuentes said. “I was just supporting my niece’s activism. I had no malicious intent, and I wouldn’t put a target on my own back. I’m out there on the streets every day like everyone else.”

Fuentes said that Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood told her she was “getting pressure from the mayor’s office” and to “fix” what she did. Fuentes said the police commissioner urged her to post an apology, so she did. 

“The commissioner said: ‘You have to find a way to fix this. I’m getting pressure from the mayor’s office,’ ” Fuentes said. “I said, ‘OK, I’m sorry. How do I fix it?’ Officer Gentile suggested I post an apology on the police union Facebook page. So I went home later and I did.”

The Facebook apology drew even more criticism of Fuentes. It read, in part:

“To my fellow officers, I recently shared a post that a family member had posted of themselves protesting the recent death of George Floyd. I did not share this photo with any malicious intent and I should have thought of how others might perceive it. I apologize to all of those who I have offended. I am not anti-cop. I wear my badge proudly and have committed my life and career to being a police officer.”

According to Clapprood, Fuentes wasn’t fired merely because of the posts. There had been previous problems with the detective, The Hill reported.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

Springfield Police Commissioner Clapprood sent a statement to WBUR saying, “This was Ms. Fuentes’s second infraction during her probationary period. Complaints about her social media post came from co-workers who were hurt by it and questioned her stance on the quote that advocated shooting police officers. It was my decision to terminate her employment.”

“Unlike other local police and fire officials who have been fired or forced to resign over racially charged social media posts, Fuentes, a Latina woman, finds herself on the side of protesters,” Stephanie Barry wrote for MassLive. “Civil rights activists and others say this sets her apart.”