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Pacific Grove officer no longer employed by police after social media post complaints

Pacific Grove Police

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. (KION) Chief Cathy Madalone with the Pacific Grove Police Department said an officer who had been under investigation following complaints about social media posts is no longer employed by the city in any capacity.

Madalone said she is not able to give any more details due to legal constraints.

"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," she said.

The officer, who has not been identified, was placed on administrative leave after the police department received complaints about posts on the officer's personal social media account allegedly showing anti-Black Lives Mater sentiment.

One of the alleged posts in question was provided to KION by a Pacific Grove resident and confirmed by the city's police department as the post under investigation. It features the phrase "F--- Black Lives Matter" and was posted on an alternative social media site called Parler.

Following the complaint, the officer was placed on leave and police launched an independent investigation.

Madalone said that since she arrived in 2019, the department has reviewed the social media accounts for all applicants within the police department. Since June, she said officers have attended more than 20 courses, including ethical decision making, bias and racial profiling; exploring racism and living the solution; social media and law enforcement; mental health training and tactical communications.

The police department is also part of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

"It is a framework and foundation for conducting business professionally and transparently. We are human. We make mistakes, but we strive to continuously improve, which is why we conduct regular training and use accountability and transparency tools such as body-worn cameras. The department has made a concerted effort to be more transparent and have better communications with the community," Madalone said.

Major tech platforms, including Apple and Amazon, removed Parler this week following a riot at the U.S. Capitol. The social media platform is generally favored by conservatives and has been used by supporters of President Trump, including some who participated in the riot at the Capitol.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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