On Monday, a Facebook post by Edwin Myrick saw him lose his source of livelihood. The Savannah police department slammed him as it deemed his message to be against the department’s ethics and the directives for internet usage.
Worse, his post comes in times when the topic of racism is hotly debated. Though he insists he didn’t intend to refer to a race and that he even didn’t author the words, that didn’t salvage him. He also expressed his disappointment that someone can think of him being a racist. He said, ” for someone just to assume what I am feeling inside my heart as racism because I am a white police officer is frankly very dissatisfying,”.
This was after he received overwhelming criticisms from the activists.
It came to the attention of the police chief Roy Minter when a concerned member of the public emailed a screenshot of the post seeking to know if Myrick was an officer in the department. The hard reality hit the police officer, and he tried to defend himself. ”if you take (an) employee and just terminate them without having kind of dialogue of intent, then you are doing injustice to the city of savanna, and you are unbelievably destroying the morale of the police department,” however, his statement came way too late.
The decision of the department was irreversible. There are also reports indicating that there was an interview with Myrick being allowed to clarify the post. In his explanation, he says he had no intent to mean much but only communicate little about himself. He related the job to the department’s role, where he was held responsible as the director of emergency management for Effingham County. He says he was privileged to take care of his family through the resources available.
Further, in his defense, Myrick says he only copied all the information as it was without any alteration. However, chief Minter feels Myrick violated the policies governing the department as any officer ought to be disciplined forces that approach others with the utmost respect. The department operates in close adherence to a rule which states, ‘’ no employee will speak disrespectfully of any….race” on that account, he lost his job for gross violation of the practice.
Also, Mytrick is accused of using the internet to belittle others. A rule governing the department indicates, ” employees… are prohibited from using the internet to harass, annoy, belittle, or oppress any other person.” According to the WSAV Crime Expert and former SPD Major Gerry Long, anyone in uniform represents the department even when off duty capacity, and one is responsible for their actions. Also, while posting on your profile, you mirror and represent the department. People know you do. Though he says he was misunderstood following the much-heightened hatred between police and community, his efforts to salvage his job bore no fruits.