Denver cop is fired for picture with caption 'let's start a riot'

Smug-looking white rookie cop is fired for posting picture alongside two smiling colleagues in riot gear with caption ‘let’s start a riot’ ahead of protests in Denver

  • The Denver Police Department announced on Tuesday that Officer Thomas McClay was fired 
  • Investigation was conducted by the Office of the Independent Monitor
  • It was unknown whether the other two officers were working during protests in Denver 
  • McClay’s account on Instagram has since been deleted
  • The now fired officer had just graduated from the police academy, joining the department in October 2019

A Denver police officer has been fired after writing ‘let’s start a riot’ for a caption of a photo he posted on Instagram that showed him and two other officers in riot gear. 

The Denver Police Department announced on Tuesday that Officer Thomas McClay was fired. 

‘The Denver Police Department initiated an Internal Affairs investigation into a social media post by Officer Thomas McClay,’ according to a news release from the department,’ the Denver Post reports. 

The Denver Police Department announced on Tuesday that Officer Thomas McClay (left) was fired. His Instagram account has also since been deleted

‘The Internal Affairs investigation revealed that the officer violated the department’s social media policy, posted content inconsistent with the values of the department, and the officer has been terminated.’ 

McClay had been assigned desk duties while the internal affairs investigation was taking place, according to police spokesman Sonny Jackson. The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Independent Monitor. 

It was unknown whether the other two officers were working during protests in Denver, which saw officers using foam bullets and pepper spray on demonstrators. 

McClay’s account on Instagram has since been deleted.

The now fired officer had just graduated from the police academy, joining the department in October 2019, according to a post on Facebook from the department. 

Since he was within the nine-month probationary period for all officers who join the department, McClay could have been fired without an internal investigation.  

It was unknown whether the other two officers were working during protests in Denver, which saw officers using foam bullets and pepper spray on demonstrators

The Denver Police Protective Association released a statement condemning the remarks from the officer.  

‘Today a young, probationary Denver Police officer was terminated for posting an inflammatory, insensitive, and quite frankly, misguided photograph on social media,’ they said in the statement, CBS News reports.

‘For the other 1,600 Denver Police officers who are left dealing with a very difficult situation, we ask the public, as well as elected City officials, to stop using social media to fan the flames of hatred.’ 

Thousands in Denver have taken to the streets like many Americans across the country, to combat police brutality against black people in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of white cop Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. 

 Thousands in Denver have taken to the streets like many Americans across the country, to combat police brutality against black people

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