Hopewell Township Police Officer Sara Erwin created the Facebook post that would get her fired on June 1, 2020.
George Floyd was killed one week earlier in Minneapolis, prompting protests across the country. The issue of American policing was again at the forefront of the nation, and so was the Black Lives Matter movement.
Erwin called Black Lives Matter protesters, “terrorists.”
Her supervisor in the patrol unit, Sgt. Mandy Grey, liked the post with the “love” button the same day, and made a similar post later on June 1, in which she called Black Likes Matter a “terrorist group.”
For a week, though, the posts were just that, social media posts that lived on the internet like millions of others.
It was not until June 8 that an internal affairs investigation commenced against Grey and Erwin, spurred by an old fashioned tip: an anonymous letter sent to the police chief with a printed copy of Erwin’s post. It said the officer’s post could be a violation of departmental policies.
Then Police Chief Lance Maloney, who received the letter, brought it to Lt. William Springer, the internal affairs investigator, at about 2:15 p.m. that day. Springer started investigating at 2:30 p.m.
A year after that meeting, the case of Erwin and Grey has exploded into a national story, and is likely to last maybe a year more, with underway appeals and a planned lawsuit.
Documents attached to their appeals, filed in Superior Court of Mercer County, give a glimpse into how police authorities investigated the two, 20-year cops and how the township council arrived at Erwin’s firing and Grey’s suspension and demotion in late April.
But Erwin and Grey’s lawyer, Frank Crivelli, said that’s what this case is about.
He believes the township council was under an “incredible amount of political pressure” following the Floyd protests. The five-member council are all Democrats, Crivelli pointed out.
Read the complete article at: NJ