PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - A police officer under investigation since last November for an inappropriate social media post is no longer employed by the Pacific Grove Police Department or the city "in any capacity," Police Chief Cathy Madalone said in an announcement Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, I am unable to disclose or comment any further due to legal constraints," Madalone said in a written and video statement. "I understand you would like to have more details, and I would like to provide them to you, but based on the law, I am prohibited from commenting any further on this personnel matter."
Madalone In November had said that the post in question, which was reported to the department and made on the right wing extremist social media platform Parler, was "F--- Black Lives Matter."
The officer had been on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
"We serve this community with the utmost professionalism. We protect life, prevent crime, and provide support services with understanding, compassion, and integrity," Madalone said in her statement Tuesday. "We will continue to serve this community and provide professional police services while respecting the rights and dignity of all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other factor."
She addressed city hiring practices, saying Pacific Grove "conducts very robust and comprehensive background investigations. Since I arrived in 2019, the police department has included review of social media accounts for all applicants within the police department."
Madalone said her department "is in full compliance with California training requirements. In addition to perishable skills and continued professional training, members of the department attend advanced training on all aspects of law enforcement."
She said officers in the department have attended courses such as ethical decision making, bias and racial profiling, de-escalation techniques, exploring racism and living the solution, law enforcement and the transgender community, LGBT Community awareness for law enforcement, social media and law enforcement, mental health training, and tactical communications.
While she did not identify or release any additional information about the officer who was investigated, the city in November said in a news release that, "This is the same officer that had the controversial decals affixed to his vehicle that were reported to the city back in May of 2020. Unfortunately, the findings of that investigation were part of a personnel matter, therefore disclosure of the details of the investigation are prohibited by law."