Ferguson cop placed on unpaid leave after calling Michael Brown memorial ‘pile of trash’

Ferguson cop placed on unpaid leave after calling Michael Brown memorial ‘pile of trash’

On Saturday, the Ferguson, Mo. Police Department announced that it was placing its spokesman on unpaid leave pending disciplinary proceedings following confirmation that he’d told a Washington Post blogger that the makeshift Michael Brown memorial was a “pile of trash.”

On Friday, city officials backed up police public information officer Timothy Zoll when he’d claimed he’d been misquoted, but later retracted that claim when he was “confronted with the results” of a subsequent investigation, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The Ferguson Police Department press release reads:

FERGUSON, Mo., Dec. 27 – Earlier this week, the Public Information Officer for the City of Ferguson Police Department responded to an inquiry from a Washington Post reporter regarding the destruction of the Michael Brown memorial.

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Upon being confronted with the results of the Ferguson Police Department’s investigation regarding the remarks that were attributed to the Public Information Officer, the officer admitted to Department investigators that he did in fact make the remarks attributed to him, and that he misled his superiors when asked about the contents of the interview.

The officer has been placed on unpaid leave, effective immediately, while disciplinary proceedings begin.

The City of Ferguson wants to emphasize that negative remarks about the Michael Brown memorial do not reflect the feelings of the Ferguson Police Department and are in direct contradiction to the efforts of City officials to relocate the memorial to a more secure location. The Ferguson Police Department also wants to note that even after the officer’s initial denial of his statement; the Police Chief continued the investigation until the truth was discovered.

The City of Ferguson and the Ferguson Police Department in particular, are focused on creating a trusting relationship with the entire community and taking impactful steps to improve the effectiveness of the department.

Brown supporters and Ferguson protesters tweeted Zoll’s admission that he referred to the memorial as a “pile of trash,” The Right Scoop reported, including these:

If Officer Zoll is disciplined, it should be for lying to his superiors prior to the their investigation and not for his honest appraisal of the “pile of trash” lying in the middle of the street, which is protected by his First Amendments rights.

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz is a recovering Michigan trial lawyer and former research vessel deck officer. He has written extensively for BizPac Review.


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