For Black Lives Matter, MarShawn McCarrel’s suicide on the steps of a Ohio statehouse was quite the shock. The situation was only made worse when Fairborn police officer Lee Cyr mocked the fatal shooting on Facebook, referring to the tragic death as a “happy ending” for all. In response, many on social media were outraged, calling for officer Cyr to be “fired” immediately from his position within the Fairborn police department for the “racist” comment.
The Black Lives Matter activist was known for organizing and helping others within his native Columbus. McCarrel helped launch a sponsored mentor program for young people called Pursuing Our Dreams in addition to helping the homeless by leading a campaign called “Feed The Streets.”
“He impacted so many people, touched so many lives,” said Leatha Wellington, MarShawn’s mother. “He was just so creative. He just wanted to serve people.”
Before committing suicide, McCarrel left a suicide note on his Facebook and Twitter account which partially explained his motive for why he shot himself in front of the Columbus statehouse with no one to witness his death.
“My demons won today. I’m sorry,” McCarrel wrote. “Let the record show that I p****dd on the state house before I left.”
Apparently, Fairborn police officer Lee Cyr heard about the Black Lives Matter activist’s suicide through a Facebook post on Ohio Politics, a page managed by the Dayton Daily News. Many comments referred to MarShawn McCarrel’s suicide in a negative sense, calling the 23-year-old black man a “thug” or expressing relief that there’s “one less to worry about.” Some even hoped other Black Lives Matter supporters would follow suit by committing suicide themselves.
The comment by the police officer is now deleted, but it reportedly said, “Love a happy ending.” Cyr made the comment while he was off duty, but Fairborn Police Chief Terry Barlow says internal affairs investigators is looking into the incident since it is possible officer Cyr violated the police’s social media policy.
“When we were made aware of a Facebook post that was linked to a Fairborn police officer, an internal affairs complaint was initiated,” said Terry Barlow. “Posts that may discredit the police department are against policy. We take this seriously. We will ensure the professional standards of the department are upheld.”
Barlow said police officer Lee Cyr will be on paid administrative leave during the ongoing investigation. For some on social media, being put on leave is not enough, with comments claiming that mocking Black Lives Matter in such a manner is blatantly racist.
Tristina Allen says she worked with MarShawn McCarrel for Black Lives Matter in the past and she believes it is “unacceptable” for a police officer to mock the dead.
“If [Lee Cyr] did post it I’m not surprised,” she said. “We have received a lot of negative responses. I think it is completely unacceptable for someone who is supposed to protect and serve to have that comment towards someone who is dead.”
Reports do not indicate what police officer Lee Cyr’s punishment will be if it is determined he violated the Fairborn Police Department’s social media policy. Tom Roberts, vice president with the NAACP Dayton Unit, said the civil rights organization will be monitoring the investigation. The report by the Dayton Daily News notes that the only black police officer in the Fairborn Police Department transferred away in 2015. In the past, other Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies were fired and three others suspended for allegedly sending racist text messages in addition to ridiculing black police officers and President Obama.
Do you think the Ohio police officer should be fired for mocking the Black Lives Matter suicide?
(Image via Twitter)