The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on Monday confirmed it has launched an internal investigation into a report that one of its officers posted a meme on Facebook calling Black Lives Matter protesters “domestic terrorists.”
Monday marked the fourth day of protests in St. Louis following a not-guilty verdict in the first-degree murder trial of Jason Stockley, a white former St. Louis police officer who shot to death Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man, while on duty.
On Saturday, Lisa Clancy, a participant in the protests, posted a Facebook status explaining why she chose to participate in the Friday night protest in St. Louis’ Central West End.
“I want (my son) to live in a world where he doesn’t fear those who are different than him (Darren Wilson & Jason Stockley certainly did, as does our current President and his comrades), where he doesn’t have to fear for the safety and well being of the black and brown people that he will come to love and care about, and where he sees and activates his own path to show up and make his voice heard when there is injustice,” Clancy wrote on Facebook.
“I don’t condone any vandalism that happened, but I’m going to focus my energy on calling out the system that got us to this point and will continue to unless the (white) people in positions of institutional power find the will to change. Windows can be replaced, lives can’t.”
In a tweet and subsequent Facebook post, Clancy alleged that an SLMPD officer commented on her original status with a photo from a Black Lives Matter rally with “the Klan with a tan” and “domestic terrorists” superimposed on it. In both posts, she included a screenshot of the interaction and tagged SLMPD and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been a central part of the protests in St. Louis. Protesters have chanted “no justice, no peace” and “black lives matter” during demonstrations.
The comment in question was apparently deleted sometime after 4 p.m. Monday. It was originally posted Saturday evening, Clancy said.
An SLMPD spokesperson confirmed Monday afternoon that an internal investigation into “the matter” had been launched.
Krewson said in a press conference Tuesday that complaints made about the police department are being reviewed by the department’s internal affairs division and the department of public safety.
She said she had heard about the post, but had not personally seen it.
“If that’s the case, I certainly disagree with the comment,” Krewson said.
The police spokesperson did not respond to a request for further comment Monday night. An attempt to reach the Facebook account in question was unsuccessful.