Policeman brands Ferguson protesters 'rabid dogs'

Ferguson - A police officer in Missouri was suspended on Friday after he voiced his contempt via Facebook of protesters condemning the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer.

Some 50 demonstrators returned to the streets of the St Louis suburb of Ferguson at sunset on Friday to demand justice for the 9 August death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose funeral is set for Monday.

Police kept a low profile, in sharp contrast to previous nights when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters near the quiet residential street where Brown was fatally shot at least six times in broad daylight.

The police department in Glendale, another St Louis suburb, said Friday it had suspended one of its officers who expressed contempt for the Ferguson protesters on his Facebook account.

Matthew Pappert was the latest police officer from the St Louis area in three days to be suspended for questionable conduct amid the Ferguson protests.

"I'm sick of these protesters. You are a burden on society and a blight on the community," wrote Pappert in one of at least five posts that went up since Sunday.

"These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night," he added.

In a reference to the Boston Marathon bombing, he also wrote: "Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them."

The Glendale Police Department, in a statement, said it suspended Pappert upon learning about the posts on Friday. It also cancelled a neighbourhood block party for fear it might be disrupted by protesters.

"The matter is being taken very seriously and a thorough internal investigation will be conducted to determine why the posts were made," it said.

It stressed that Pappert's posts were "absolutely" not shared by the Glendale police or city government. The suburb of 6 000 is 97% white.

Press photographers recognised Pappert as one of hundreds of St Louis area police officers called into Ferguson as crowd-control reinforcements.

One photographer clearly recalled him threatening journalists with a night stick, saying: "He was ready to swing at us."

On Wednesday, a police lieutenant from another St Louis suburb, St Ann, was suspended after he pointed a semi-automatic assault rifle at Ferguson protesters and, in vulgar language, threatened to kill them.

Within hours, two videos of the officer's conduct went viral on YouTube, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to demand he be removed from duty.

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Bento Maepa 2014-08-23 07:42:37 AM
I wonder if the race-obsessed policeman would have expressed the same sentiments had the protesters been white. Shooting someone six times in broad daylight is much more than can be described as normal.
Michael Mooney 2014-08-23 08:02:54 AM
Pathetic to suspend either if those cops....
Sandra Nederlof 2014-08-23 08:05:31 AM
Only 50 people? We r used to 500...
John Greystoke 2014-08-23 08:23:44 AM
Unfortunately , I am sorry to say, it seems as if this rioting thing is race based? The footage I saw might be undeveloped and still be negatives? Like black colors is white and white colors is black? It can very well be that it is whites that are rioting then? Negative whites?
Shireen Eva 2014-08-23 08:30:29 AM
I take my hat off to the 97% of the neighbourhood who have not retaliated.
Themba Mzukulwane Ka-Ndlavele Thela 2014-08-23 09:00:18 AM
Violence was never a solution,never is and never will be...so i don't know when people are gonna realise violence never solve problems....but increases them... And for that officer,he should have known better,how does he say that he serves the community and i dnt think that when you serve a community you say whatever you feel like sayin..
Tinus Kieser 2014-08-23 09:24:32 AM
you people lucky that side, here i, south africa they would have stolen that 6 bullets and the gun even before the police officer could have used it
Mbengelwa Ngwenya 2014-08-23 09:25:04 AM
Very stupid for a professional to air his personal sentiments on a public platform.
Marang Lesedi 2014-08-23 09:29:52 AM
Reminiscent of sentiments harboured by endemic redneck Afrikaaner.
Gordon5100 2014-08-23 09:40:08 AM
I have sympathy for this policeman's view. These 'protesters' are NOT what they purport to be - they are throwing rocks, bottles, petrol bombs and looting - typical of the actions of the rioters. Even with Martial Law declared they STILL carry on - the police have the right to use force to protect innocent civilians and property.