A Colorado Springs police officer has been temporarily suspended and transferred after an internal investigation revealed he used a fake name on Facebook to post comments that called for violence against protesters, CBS Denver reports. Sergeant Keith Wrede responded to a livestream of a protest in late June with the comments “KILL THEM ALL” and “KILL EM ALL” while using a Facebook profile with the name Steven Eric, the investigation found.
Wrede allegedly made the comments on June 30, when a group of Black Lives Matter protesters shut down traffic on Interstate 25 for a little over an hour. According to CBS Denver, most demonstrators dispersed before law enforcement ever arrived.
“It was determined that the comments were made off-duty out of frustration and there was no indication of any physical action or intent to cause harm,” CSPD Chief Vince Niski said in an open letter. “I am in no way minimizing Sergeant Wrede’s words. His comments were unacceptable, have damaged our relationship with members of our community, and fell short of our standards.”
In the letter, Niski also defended not firing the officer.
“While his statements were harmful and reprehensible, I cannot deprive the community of a good police officer and his services because of an isolated incident of an error in judgment,” Niski stated. “We hope that you can accept our apology and be assured that the CSPD and Sgt. Wrede will continue to faithfully serve the public.”
Wrede was given a 40-hour suspension and was forced to give up more than $2,000 in wages. He was also removed from his specialized unit and reassignment to a different position in the department, CBS Denver reports.