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Flint police officer fired over Facebook post

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A Flint police officer has lost his job because of a post on his Facebook page.

Police Chief James Tolbert says Robert Garceau violated the department's social media and code of conduct policies with a Facebook post after a recent double shooting. One man died and another was critically wounded. 

“Officer Garceau posted ‘Keep purging society of these maggots. Two less welfare stamp people. Keep it up,’” Tolbert said during a Friday news conference. He says Garceau posted the comment to his personal Facebook page while he was on duty. 

Tolbert says Garceau’s comments were “demeaning and divisive and promote violence.”

Garceau’s attorney suggests the city may be violating his client’s First Amendment rights. 

Garceau is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city for discrimination in promotions.

The suit is still pending. Most of the officers remain with the department.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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