Saying he disagrees with a hearing officer’s decision, acting San Jose, California police chief Eddie Garcia on Thursday said he will reinstate an officer who was fired after posting Twitter messages that appeared to mock protests over police killings, reports The Associated Press.
An independent arbitrator reinstated officer Phil White, a 20-year veteran who was fired last fall after tweeting, “Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law appointed right and duty to kill you.” The report says that the tweet included the hashtag, “CopsLivesMatter,” an apparent reference to Black Lives Matter, the report says.
From The AP:
White isn’t patrolling, though. He has been assigned to administrative duties and will help with the rollout of a police body-camera program.
The San Jose Mercury News reported in October that police released a statement announcing the termination:
A statement from the police department said only that White “is no longer an employee with the city of San Jose.” Neither the police department nor the City Attorney’s Office offered further comment, including specifying when the city cut ties with White, citing privacy laws governing personnel matters.
White’s Twitter posts were widely condemned by the department, the police union, city leaders and local social-justice groups after they surfaced on the news website BuzzFeed, as momentum surged behind the Black Lives Matter movement born from the controversial police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York.
White had been featured in the Mercury News for his work with elementary school children focused on gang prevention and teaching them how to make positive life choices, the report says.