A Petersburg man is no longer employed by the Petersburg Police Department following an investigation into fascist rhetoric posted on a social media page.
The situation was investigated, said Petersburg Police Department Chief James Kerr in an email, but he couldn’t comment further as the Borough of Petersburg’s policy is not to comment on personnel matters.
The post was made by an account under the name J.D.Pickle that listed the account’s employer as the Petersburg Police Department. The post included a photo of a child with face paint resembling dictator Adolf Hitler’s mustache appearing to perform a Nazi salute. The post included the comment, “Just showed this to my son. He said that would be his dream come true. Got to raise them riech.”
The Third Reich was the Nazi designation for the fascist regime that ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945.
According to records obtained by the Empire, Petersburg Police Department employed an officer by the name Johnny Duane Pickle until December. Pickle was part of the department up to last month, listed as being in probationary status, but is no longer employed by the department, Kerr said in an email.
While the details of the profile are now set to private, the comments were not deleted from a public Facebook page. Other posts from other group members on the page included comments lauding Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, decrying Hanukkah and calling Alaska “the new white homeland.”
According to the department’s policies, breaching the social networking or blogging guidelines may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
A message sent to the profile was not answered.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or email@example.com.