DENVER — An internal investigation has begun after a photo of three Denver officers dressed in riot gear was posted on Instagram with the caption, “Let’s start a riot.” One of the officers was fired Tuesday afternoon, according to a tweet from the Denver Police Department.
The photo allegedly appeared on the Instagram account of Thomas J. McClay and a screenshot was shared late Sunday on Reddit, KMGH reported. The post was removed from Instagram and the account was later deleted, the television station reported.
Update 6:02 p.m. EDT June 2: Thomas J. McClay was fired by the Denver Police Department on Tuesday afternoon after an investigation into a post on the police officer’s Instagram account, the department said in a tweet.
“The Internal Affairs investigation revealed that the officer violated the Department’s social media policy, (and) posted content inconsistent with the values of the Department,” officials said in a statement.
Original report: The photo and caption appeared before the fourth consecutive night of clashes between police and protesters, Colorado Politics reported.
Denver police said the officers in the photo have been reassigned, and will not be working at any protest sites, KMGH reported.
Police department spokesperson Sonny Jackson told Colorado Politics on Monday that police Chief Paul Pazen ordered a “thorough” investigation that is currently ongoing.
Jackson said the police department is taking the matter “very seriously.”
Cox Media Group