The comment, “Hahahaha love this,” sounds like something an internet troll would say about a deadly attack that has claimed a woman’s life. But nooo, the comment came from a cop.
Massachusetts police officer Conrad Lariviere has been removed from service after he celebrated an article about a car driving into innocent counter-protesters at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia back in August.
The incident involved a car plowing into a group of people, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others in the process. Lariviere commented about what happened on Facebook: “Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block road ways.”
— Dan Glaun (@dglaun) August 13, 2017
After being called out by other Facebook users, Lariviere replied by defending the driver. “How do you know he was a Nazi scumbag? Stop being part of the problem.”
The day after he posted his comments, he clarified himself and added that he was a good person who made a dumb decision. However, a complaint had already been filed with the Springfield Police Department.
Call the Springfield, MA police department 413-787-6302 and let them know how you feel about Conrad Lariviere's comments on FB. pic.twitter.com/NgeJA3cNjD
— your chick habit. (@parkerandcooley) August 14, 2017
“I received notification of this Facebook post earlier today via email from a complainant,” said John Barbieri, Springfield Police Commissioner.
“The post is purportedly from Springfield police officer. I took immediate steps to initiate a prompt and thorough internal investigation.
“If in fact this post did originate from an officer employed with the Springfield Police Department, this matter will be reviewed by the Community Police Hearings Board for further action.”
The department fired Lariviere this week. Although the Police Community Relations Board didn’t find any racial bias or malice in his comments, they ruled that his off-duty actions were unbecoming of an officer and hurt the department’s reputation.
“It will take us months, if not years, to earn back the level of public trust we once had,” added Barbieri.
In an interview with MassLive.com, Laviere said he plans to appeal the decision.
“Never would I want someone to get murdered,” he added. “I am not a racist and don’t believe in what any of those protesters are doing.
“I’m a good man who made a stupid comment and would just like to be left alone.”