Massachusetts police officer demoted for critical tweet

2

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police officer who used the division’s official Twitter account to criticize Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for allowing racial justice demonstrations in the course of the coronavirus pandemic has been demoted, the division introduced.

Former Salem Capt. Kate Stephens was demoted to sergeant, has been changed as Executive Officer, and misplaced entry to the division’s social media accounts, in response to a press release Wednesday from Chief Mary Butler.

“As police officers, we are – rightly – held to a higher standard of conduct. Sergeant Stephens’ words undermined confidence in not just her, but in the entire department,” Butler stated.

Stephens tweeted earlier this month “(S)o you issued a permit for 10 of thousands of people to protest but I can’t go to a restaurant? You are ridiculous. You and Too Tall Deval are killing this State.”

“Tall Deval” is an insulting reference to Gov. Charlie Baker utilized by a conservative columnist.

Stephens, a 24-year division veteran, issued an apology together with Butler’s announcement.

“I would like to apologize to the community,” she stated. “I absolutely believe and will defend everyone’s right to peacefully protest and exercise their First Amendment rights. I am so sorry for this mistake.”