STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Sterling Heights police officer who was placed on unpaid leave after posting a racist meme about George Floyd to Facebook has officially resigned from his position, the City of Sterling Heights confirmed Monday.
“During the course of the Police Department’s internal investigation, and prior to disciplinary action, the police officer in question resigned," a statement from the city read.
The identity of the officer has still not been released.
BREAKING: Sterling Heights Police have accepted the resignation of an officer placed on leave, following the discovery of a racist Facebook post. The investigation was launched last week, after @wxyzdetroit exposed the post, and informed police it was made. #5PM pic.twitter.com/atKfORu2kx— Simon Shaykhet WXYZ (@simonshaykhet) March 1, 2021
Sterling Heights police say they immediately launched an internal investigation after they were made aware of the racist post shared by the officer which depicted former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin with his knee in Floyd's neck with the caption, "When you gotta change a tire but don't wanna get your trousers dirty."
Floyd's death prompted anti-police brutality protests across the country and pushes for changes within police departments in cities across the nation.
“If we’re not policing our own guys, I don’t blame any resident for not trusting a police officer when they get pulled over or arrested,” said Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski. “As a police officer when you post something it carries tremendous weight. That’s why we have a policy that says you can’t post anything inflammatory against a religion, race, gender. Nothing like that. It’s all prohibited.”
Read the City of Sterling Heights full statement below.
During the course of the Police Department’s internal investigation, and prior to disciplinary action, the police officer in question resigned.
This incident is confirmation that the City must remain vigilant in identifying and rooting out such behavior, which has no place in a municipal organization that serves an incredibly diverse population. This incident further shows the City’s commitment to making sure each and every resident, business owner, and visitor feels welcome and safe in Sterling Heights. This objective is integral to realizing the City’s vision for Sterling Heights as a community that is vibrant, inclusive, and distinctive.