A Hopewell Township officer has been fired after describing Black Lives Matter protesters as “terrorists” in a Facebook post.
The fired officer, Sara Erwin’s post read: “Last night as I left for work I had my two kids crying for me not to go to work. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way I did last night. And then I watched people I know and others I care about going into harms way. I love my police family like my own. So when you share posts and things on Facebook I’d really appreciate if you’d THINK before doing so. I’ve seen so many black lives matter [sic] hashtags in these posts. Just to let you know — they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don’t care if I die.”
Erwin’s followed the aftermath of the viral video footage showing former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He repeatedly told officers that he could not breathe.
Last month, Chauvin was convicted of second-and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Sgt. Mandy Grey will be suspended for six months.
According to NJ.com, Grey was the first female officer hired in Hopewell Township and was the first sergeant when promoted in 2019. She will lose her rank following her suspension.
Six township employees, including five police department members, were put on leave for appearing to support Erwin’s post. According to the Trentonian, Detective Mark Panzano, patrol officers Sara Erwin and John “Sandy” Ferner, dispatcher Gregory Peck and public works truck driver Steve Harbat all supported Erwin’s remarks on social media.
The post was created last June. At the time, Erwin and several employees who reacted to the post were investigated and placed on leave. Police Chief Lance Maloney also apologized to the community for the post.
But soon after, The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office found no evidence of criminal behavior after investigating the incident.