There were a lot of strong feelings on social media yesterday concerning an incident in Grand Forks. A cop shot a man in the face, and then local law enforcement sat on most of the details of the incident for days creating a vacuum where all manner of speculation took place.
Things got so bad that a Fargo police officer told one critic of the Grand Forks area cops to go and hang himself. Darryl Danielson posted a screenshot of the Fargo officer’s posting on WDAY’s Facebook page (see above).
Messmer is now under investigation for the comment:
Officer Zach Messmer is under investigation by the Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards due to the comment, Lt. Mike Mitchell said Tuesday. …
Mitchell, the police spokesman, declined to describe what rules, if any, limit officers’ free speech online.
He also said internal investigations can vary in length from two to 30 days, “depending on the complexity of it.”
To give Officer Messmer the benefit of some context, Danielson had posted (among other things) that UND campus police officers “shoot at anyone they please.” It’s not hard to imagine why a law enforcement officer would find such a comment to be fantastically unfair.
But two wrongs don’t make a right.
I have some experience with internet trolls. I find the best way to engage the most obnoxious ones is to ignore them.
I’m guessing Messmer gets a reprimand, and learns a lesson. Next time, just block the idiot.