Massachusetts officer fired over posting pic of niece at BLM protest holding sign calling for shooting of cops
Rookie Springfield Detective Florissa Fuentes said she was showing pride in her niece's activism and didn't mean to disrespect her colleagues
A police detective from Massachusetts was fired after she posted a picture on social media of her niece at a Black Lives Matter demonstration holding a sign that suggested that people should shoot back at cops. The Rookie Springfield Detective, identified as 30-year-old Florissa Fuentes, later released a statement, saying she was showing pride in her niece's activism in Atlanta.
One of the signs held by the detective's niece at the protest in late May read: "Who do we call when the murderer wear the badge?" While another sign at the event appeared to suggest that people should shoot back at police officers.
Fuentes, after receiving criticism from her colleagues over the post, claimed that that the post was made on a personal account while she was off duty, and added that she personally does not advocate violence against police. The 30-year-old, while talking to The Republican, said: "After I posted it, I started getting calls and texts from coworkers. I was initially confused, but then I realized they thought I was being anti-cop. I wasn't. I was just supporting my niece's activism. I had no malicious intent, and I wouldn't put a target on my own back."
The former detective recounted that one of co-workers told her: "You have a lot of haters. You're going to get in trouble." Fuentes later removed her post, however, the head of detective bureau asked her to meet her captain Trent Duda over a "possible" social media violation.
"I said, 'Cap, I already know why you're calling. I'm sorry. I meant no malicious intent and I already took it down," Fuentes told the outlet. "Capt. Duda said Commissioner Clapprood was mad and wanted to see me the next day, but hoped if said exactly what I said to him, I should be fine."
Fuentes, after deleting her post, also sent out a private message on Facebook to her colleagues, saying she did not have any malicious intent when she shared the picture. "To my fellow officers, I recently shared a post that a family member had posted of themselves protesting the recent death of George Floyd," the single mother of three said. "I did not share this photo with any malicious intent and I should have thought of how others might perceive it. I apologize to all of those who I have offended. I am not anti-cop. I wear my badge proudly and have committed my life and career to being a police officer."
Her colleagues, however, did not take kindly to her message, and branded her "dangerous or stupid." One of them reportedly said: "Please stay as far away from me as you can," adding that she was "either too dangerous or too stupid to safely associate with."
Fuentes, days later, was told that she could either resign from her position or be fired. The 30-year-old, on June 19, was fired by Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. The commissioner said: "That post was hurtful to many of her coworkers," adding that Fuentes was a rookie at the department and was on probation.
"I took this job to give back to the community — to the city that raised me," Fuentes told the outlet. "If I could get my job back, I would take it in a heartbeat."