Police Officer in trouble for lashing out the media on Facebook

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Updated: September 8, 2017

And while on the topic of police conduct, there is another police officer who has found himself in trouble with the Department’s command. His fault was posting on Facebook.  While the department doesn’t prohibit officers from being on social media, we learned today that there are social media policies they must follow. So what happened? A Corporal who goes by the Facebook name “Martin Rudiger” took to Facebook and responded to posts on the incident at the Tower Hill Toll Bridge in Orange Walk on Wednesday. As we have reported, the PUP Leader John Briceno, senior PUP officials and their supporters were gassed off the highway after briefly blocking the northern approach of the bridge. Amid the mayhem the media was subjected to the Special Patrol Unit’s use of force, which continues to be considered excessive and unnecessary. That, we understand was the subject of discussion on Facebook which Rudiger engaged in and his comments were not too civil. In a screen shot of the conversation, he states that he hopes the media learned their lesson, quote, “and learned it good too! NOBODY is above the law, got that media people?” end quote. In another of many responses he states, quote, “The media is not exempted from the law …they too damn facey, in situation like those it is standard procedure for the media to stay at a safe distance away from the action!! I just hope Marisol learnt her damn lesson,” end of quote. These comments and others stirred other Facebook users who disagreed with him, some suggesting he embarrassed the Police Department and the Belizean Society. He did not take that too well and became insulting. Today, in a press brief with the police, Operations Commander Edward Broaster and ACP Dezerie Magdaleno said it was unprofessional conduct and that they are dealing with the matter.

Edward Broaster, Operations Commander

“Highly unprofessional. I spoke to that Corporal this morning because I was alerted by a citizen regarding his post and I believe he has since took down the post and he will be dealt with for that Facebook post because we have our social media policy where we will not engage in these sorts of unprofessional conduct on social media.”

Reporter

“Do you take note of the fact that this may be the sentiment of officer who looked on this particular incident?”

Edward Broaster, Operations Commander

“I cannot say to that or speak to that. What I can speak to is that we encourage our officers to be professional, we train them to be professional and when they act out of line we deal with them.”

In another case, there was another Facebook post where, a woman this time, who claimed to be a police officer wrote a post expressing her furry at the media and the protesters at Wednesday’s incident in Orange Walk. The Facebook name is registered as one Shameeka McFadzen. The individual, using colorful language we cannot repeat on air, rants about police having a job to do but that people made it difficult on that day then proceeds to insult the media. She ended calling people ungrateful because they don’t know what the police go through and finally that she didn’t care who got “vex”. We are not aware whether that case is being addressed by the department”.