Peoria Police Sergeant Pat Shearer is now Officer Pat Shearer after posting a picture on Facebook of a bunch of kids who'd apparently just shot up a T-shirt depicting President Obama.
You can read about the incident from our colleague Stephen Lemons by clicking here.
According to Peoria police public-information officer Jay Davies, Police Chief Roy Minter let Shearer know he's been demoted to the rank of officer, and he's being suspended for 80 hours without pay, effective immediately.
Shearer has 10 days to appeal the decision, and the details can't be released as a public record until the appeals process is over.
The picture -- which showed seven kids posing with the Obama "hope" T-shirt and its Swiss cheese pattern -- was posted on Shearer's Facebook on January 19, under the caption "Another trip to the ranch."
At least two people had commented on the photo, referencing the young gentlemen as "gangsta" -- that is, until the photo was deleted from his page after Lemons started asking questions.
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.
Shearer later told ABC 15 that the shooting of the Obama T-shirt "was more of a political statement," and later stated he "would sacrifice his own life for the President's."
In a statement from the Peoria Police Department, Minter notes (emphasis is his), "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."
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