SHIVELY, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Shively police officer is under investigation for two social media posts that appear to mock the violent clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors in Virginia.
Officer Morris Rinehardt allegedly posted a meme to his personal Facebook page over the weekend that said, “When you were born a Challenger but identify as a Ram.” The meme pictures the Dodge Challenger that was used Saturday to slam into a crowd of people. The violent attack killed a 32-year-old Charlottesville woman and injured more than a dozen others.
In a second post, the officer allegedly responded “LMFAO,” or Laughing My F---ing A-- Off, to another user’s post depicting a fake ‘for sale’ advertisement for the wrecked Challenger. “Minor front end damage, nothing serious,” the picture read.
The mayor and police chief of Shively ordered an internal investigation into the social media posts early Monday morning. Ofc. Rinehardt was immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which officials described as “protocol” for incidents of this nature.
Lt. Col. Josh Myers called the social media posts “insensitive” during a news conference Monday afternoon as he assured the community that the department does not condone any behavior that shows “indifference to human life.”
“Trust that we are going to look into this. Trust that we are going to do what is right and what is necessary,” Myers said. “Yes, this is his personal Facebook page, but he clearly identified himself on this page as a police officer for the City of Shively, therefore making it our business.”
Shively Police Department does not have a social media policy but Myers said the alleged social media posts fell under the department’s code of moral conduct.
Depending on the outcome of the internal investigation, Myers said disciplinary actions could range from a minimal six-day suspension to termination.
By law, the department is required to give Rinehardt 48 hours before administrative interrogation; he is expected to give a statement on the incident later this week.