‘Just Start Shooting’: Police Chief Suspended For Urging Violence Amid Protests
A Pennsylvania police chief has been suspended without pay for two weeks over an inflammatory Facebook post discussing the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and rioting, according to local news outlet WBRE/WYOU-TV.
- Courtdale Police Chief Christopher Matello wrote in a since-deleted facebook post, “Just start shooting … This will end quick!!!!! This is making me sick!!!!”
- Courtdale officials were reportedly “very concerned” by the post, as it clearly was inciting violence against protestors.
- The District Attorney’s office claimed they could not legally disclose what Matello’s punishment was because it was a “personal matter.”
Courtdale solicitor Sam Sanguedolce said, “He has taken ownership of the post and, as a result, council issued a disciplinary action and he’s currently serving that discipline handed out by council.”
“We suspended the Chief because we felt the Facebook post was inappropriate given the current atmosphere in the country,” Mayor Dorothy Duesler said.
Matello, who has been police chief for 15 years, claims that he was not inciting violence or that protestors actually be shot: “I was reacting to the violence and the riots across the country. I am not against the protesters. I was not trying to incite violence. I did not mean that people should be shot.”
Matello did not challenge the suspension.