Barack Obama T-Shirt Shooting: Peoria Cop's Demotion Upheld
Erstwhile Peoria Police Sergeant Pat Shearer remains Officer Pat Shearer for posting a picture on Facebook of a bunch of kids who'd apparently just shot up a T-shirt depicting President Obama.
A city spokesman says the three-member personnel board upheld the demotion, but reduced the amount of unpaid suspension from 80 hours to 40 hours.
The initial discipline recommendation -- calling for Shearer's demotion and 80-hour, unpaid suspension -- was handed down by Police Chief Roy Minter.
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The picture -- which showed seven kids posing with the Obama "hope" T-shirt and its Swiss cheese pattern caused by bullets -- was posted on Shearer's Facebook on January 19, under the caption "Another trip to the ranch."
At least two of Shearer's Facebook friends commented that the young gentlemen were fairly "gangsta" in their actions, including one person citing, "Damn it feels go to be a gangsta."
The irony here can be found in the following verse from the Geto Boys' song, "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta."
To all you Republicans, that helped me to win,
I'd sincerely like to thank you,
'cause now I got the world swingin' from my nuts,
and damn it feels good to be a gangsta.
Anyway, the photo sparked an administrative investigation into Shearer by the Peoria Police Department that same day, and the Secret Service checked it out as well after our colleague Stephen Lemons started asking questions.
Shearer later told ABC 15 that it was a sort of "political statement," but the TV station also reported that Shearer said he "would sacrifice his own life for the President's."
Likely knowing that grumpy people would start shouting things like "free speech," and "'Murica," etc., Minter previously released a statement citing the PD's code of conduct, and its stipulation that "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."