San Jose police officer Phillip White needs a refresher course in social media etiquette, after two regrettable tweets that have landed him in hot water. In addition to being a police officer, he also serves as a Menlo College assistant basketball coach, while earning praise from local media publications and the public.
Here is what White tweeted, before deleting the posts:
"Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law-appointed right and duty to kill you. #CopsLivesMatter"
"By the way if anyone feels they can't breathe or their lives matter, I'll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun."
The SJPD has guidelines in place for officers to follow - and while I don't know what the rules stipulate - I imagine Officer White is likely guilty of breaching them.
I don't know what this officer was thinking. A lot of people post, share, and link to absolutely stupid things on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media websites. However, people in the public spotlight need to certainly think twice before posting anything - especially something like Officer White did.
"If these comments are his, he must go, immediately," said Raj Jayadev, from the Silicon Valley De-Bug advocacy group, in a statement captured by the San Jose Mercury News. "I know Chief you must be as appalled as I was reading his tweets. I am certain his words do not represent what the SJPD wants to reflect, and every second he has a badge and gun, our community is at risk."
I don't know what the San Jose Police Department should do with Officer White. The department is desperate for an increased police force, so terminating his employment would likely only hurt the department - and San Jose community. Regardless of what motivations he had in writing the tweets, he should be held accountable for posting such stupid things.
(Thanks to NBC Bay Area for the photo)