SAN JOSE, Calif. - An employee of the San Jose police department has been placed on paid administrative leave after an FBI investigation revealed he made disturbing and hateful social media posts on a far-right extremist website.
At a press conference Friday morning, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata announced that the employee, Dennis Shevchenko, was identified by the FBI's terrorism task force following several anonymous social media posts, including some that advocated for harming police officers.
San Jose police internal affairs investigators obtained a search warrant for Shevchenko's residence where multiple firearms were located. Additionally, police say Shevchenko unlawfully brought a firearm into the San Jose police station and kept it in his employee locker.
Shevchenko is a non-sworn employee of the department, meaning he does not have authority to carry a gun, including inside the police station. His duties include things like burglary reports, responding to traffic collisions, and directing traffic.
Shevchenko was arrested and has since been released on bail. He's charged with possession of a concealed firearm, possession of an assault weapon, and possession of a concealed dirk or dagger.
"This incident is unfortunate and I am extremely disappointed that an employee in our organization may have harbored and spread these hateful messages. I strongly condemn extremist ideologies and hate which have no place in this community and will not be tolerated at this department," Mata said.
Mata says the investigation is ongoing, and so far it's not clear if the employee had anything to do with the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
The department is working to evaluate all current employees for similar ideologies. New recruits are also included in the screening process.
Additionally, Mata says the investigation is also looking into how Shevchenko was able to carry a firearm into the police department.