An Arizona Police sergeant, Pat Shearer has been demoted after he posted a controversial picture on his Facebook in January. The photo was that of a group of men carrying guns and holding up a T-shirt featuring President Obama’s face covered in what appeared to be bullet holes. Pat, a 25-year Veteran of the Peoria police department had been serving as a patrol sergeant, will now be demoted to the rank of an officer. This demotion has taken place without pay for two weeks, effective immediately. Pat just has 10 days to make an appeal according to the spokesman Jay Davies.
“The Peoria Police Department’s Code of Conduct states, all employees shall conduct themselves in a manner that shall never bring discredit or embarrassment to the City of Peoria or the Peoria Police Department…We expect our employees to exercise sound judgment and not bring discredit upon our Police Department.” – Police Chief Roy Minter Jr. said in a statement.
Shearer made headlines nationally when he posted this controversial picture on his Facebook in January. At that time, the Secret Service said that they were involved in the investigation of the photo.
“Any time information such as this is brought to our attention, where an individual or a group expresses unusual direction of interest in one of our protectees, we conduct appropriate follow-up,” Max Milien, a spokesman for the Secret Service.
The photograph was allegedly taken by Pat Shearer and has been removed from his Facebook profile page. Initially the sergeant was not placed on any kind of administrative leave. The Peoria police department said details of the investigation into the incident are considered a part of the public record, but that they could not be released until Shearer’s repeal process is completed.