A white suburban Detroit police chief has been suspended for 30 days without pay and will undergo diversity training after calling in social media posts for “body bags” for “vicious subhumans” protesting the death of George Floyd.

Trustees in Macomb County’s Shelby Township voted 5-2 on Tuesday night on the punishment for chief Robert J. Shelide. The unpaid leave for Shelide, who has been chief since 2015, began Wednesday.

“I am not a racist,” Shelide, who earlier apologized, told the township board and people attending Tuesday night’s meeting before the vote. “I bleed blue. This isn’t a job for me. This is a calling. It’s in my DNA.”

Shelide had been on administrative leave the past two weeks while township officials investigated posts made on a now-deleted Twitter account. Screenshots posted on Facebook show that one tweet read “Unleash real cops and let them take care of these barbarians.” Another read “Wild savages. I wish to God I would have been there. Body bags for these vicious subhumans.”

Demonstrations and unrest spread to Detroit and other cities around the U.S. following the May 25 death of Floyd in Minneapolis. A white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after the handcuffed black man stopped moving and pleading for air.

About 90% of Shelby Township’s 80,000 residents are white, according to the U.S. Census. Just over 2% are black.

Shelide earns $127,000 annually as chief. Before taking the Shelby Township job, he was a deputy chief in the Detroit suburb of Southfield. He also previously was a member of Detroit’s police department.

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis and trustee Vince Viviano voted against the suspension and favored firing Shelide.

“It’s essential — not just important — but essential that Chief Shelide be removed from his position,” Stathakis said. “Maybe he can reinvent himself, not here, not in Shelby Township. The damage has been done. The police department needs a fresh start.”

But trustee Lynn Wilhelm said the chief’s record of leadership and successes exceed remarks made from frustration.

“He was not espousing racism,” said Wilhelm who voted to suspend Shelide. “He was responding to rioters among those protesting.”

Township resident Justin Mann said the decision to suspend and not fire Shelide is disappointing.

Mann, who is African American, said: “what really disgusted me was the committee’s remarks as most of them defended our chief of police.”

(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)


Subscribe to our Youtube Channel :

Follow Us on Instagram