A Massachusetts cop is facing backlash for an insensitive and crass response on Facebook to a story about the fatal crash that occurred during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Officer Conrad Lariviere of Springfield wrote “Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block road ways” in response to a counter-protester being killed at the violent, uproarious white supremacist rally on Saturday.
After facing backlash, the officer later apologized, claiming that he’s a “good man who made a stupid comment” in a conversation with Masslive.
Despite his half-hearted apology, the damage was already done. According to the The Associated Press, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri initiated an investigation into the matter after receiving a complaint about the comment on Sunday.
“I took immediate steps to initiate a prompt and thorough internal investigation,” Barbieri reportedly told the AP via email. “If in fact this post did originate from an officer employed with the Springfield Police Department, this matter will be reviewed by the Community Police Hearings Board for further action.”
Once word got around to the Democratic Springfield mayor, Domenic Sarno, he publicly denounced the officer’s remarks in a statement.
“There is no place for this in our society, let alone from a Springfield Police Officer,” Sarno said in the statement.
Lariviere maintains he is not racist and claims his comments were not meant to imply that he was taking the side of the white supremacists.
“Never would I want someone to get murdered. I am not a racist and don’t believe in what any of those protesters are doing,” he reportedly said.
However, those sentiments certainly didn’t stop him from insulting another commenter who replied to his cruel remarks, asking him if he’d ever been hit by a car.
Lariviere responded that he had been hit by someone “with warrants, but who cares right you ignorant brat live in a fantasy land with the rest of America while I deal with the real danger.”
It’s unclear what Lariviere constitutes as “real danger,” however, we would argue that people of color in America are faced with just as much "real" danger while carrying out everyday tasks as he deals with as an officer of the law.
Imagine the inner turmoil one faces living in fear that they may become either the next victim of a hate crime or a police shooting.
In addition to whatever disciplinary action Commissioner Barbieri decides to take, Lariviere could also stand to benefit from some rigorous sensitivity training.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters, Justin Ide