A Mentone, Alabama police officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into his involvement in sharing alleged racist Facebook posts, mocking African-Americans, including George Floyd.
Mayor Rob Hammond said that a citizen’s complaint was received on June 28 against Officer Ross Greenwood. The complaint claimed that the officer “posted racist comments on his personal Facebook page.” One post allegedly said, “The Treasury Department will honor George Floyd by placing his portrait on the counterfeit $20 bill.” The other post said, “Breaking News: Quaker Oats officially changes name to Shaquille O’atmeal.”
“On the morning of Monday, June 29, Chief McKee met with town attorney Pat Tate to discuss the results of his investigation. It is the Town’s contention that these postings are a violation of the Mentone Police Department’s code of conduct,” Hammond said. “Monday afternoon, Officer Greenwood was placed on paid leave pending a due process hearing in front of an impartial hearing officer. The hearing will be scheduled in the next 10 days.”
Greenwood has since told The Times-Journal that he is “absolutely not racist” and doesn’t recall a policy that limits what he can and can’t share online. He also said that the post remains on his page and that he “absolutely” applies the law equally to everyone.
“In my opinion, [Floyd] was a criminal. He’s sure made a name for himself,” Greenwood said before adding, “A lot of this has gotten way outta hand. What’s the standard of what we can share on social media? I’ve never targeted or threatened to kill anyone.”
The officer also addressed allegations that he is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. “Those guys are hateful, spiteful morons,” he said. “I worked for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department when the KKK held rallies on the courthouse steps and I was so disgusted by what I saw. It made me sick.”