Officer suspended over ‘concerning’ social media post, chief says

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s police chief said an officer has been suspended after allegedly making a “concerning” social media post about an officer-involved shooting.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said at a news conference Tuesday that the officer has been taken out of the field and suspended without pay. He said the investigation stems from an Instagram post that appeared to make light of an officer-involved shooting.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the department launched an internal investigation after an officer allegedly posted a photo of a makeshift memorial for Leonardo Ibarra, a 25-year-old who officers fatally shot in June.

The U-T said written over the image of the memorial was “#Eastside” and emojis including a series of faces laughing and crying out tears and faces with open mouths wailing, with streams of tears flowing from closed eyes. A second screenshot showed the private Instagram account that posted the photo.

“I am shocked and disturbed by the reports of this officer’s conduct,” Chief David Nisleit said. “The officer’s alleged actions fall short of the high standards I and our community have for the San Diego Police Department. I want to apologize to the Ibarra family. This unnecessary act only reopens wounds during an already painful time.”

Nisleit said this is a critical time in the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. He stressed that the alleged post does not represent the values of the department.

He said if the allegations are true, the officer could face consequences including suspension or termination. The chief will determine that at the end of the investigation, he said.

Full news conference:

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