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Snyder says he won't fire police chief over Facebook post

Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Kibbe Etue.

Governor Rick Snyder says there is no reason to fire State Police Colonel Kriste Etue over a controversial Facebook post.

Etue has apologized for sharing a meme on her page that called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem unpatriotic and “degenerates.”

Snyder says the post was “inappropriate,” but he considers the matter settled.

“She came out and apologized, and she’s done great service for the state,” Snyder said. “The way I view it is people make mistakes, she recognizes that, and let’s keep moving forward.”

Members of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus disagree.

State Sen. Ian Conyers, D-Detroit, says he believes in the First Amendment. But he says it doesn’t protect you from consequences for your speech.

“Members of law enforcement and the military are held to a particular higher standard,” Conyers said. “In these sensitive times I think we’re starting to believe that culture starts at the top level of the leadership.”

Etue also has defenders in the Legislature. State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, says she has no reason to apologize.

“She has the same First Amendment rights as do the players who take a knee during the national anthem,” Jones said. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.