A war of words is playing out on social media, with cops and cop supporters in one camp, and cop haters in the other camp, and the latest casualty in this war is a former Connecticut police officer who allegedly used social media to urge his fellow officers to kill a cop-hater in another state, Hartford, Connecticut’s WFSB is reporting.
The story began in Chicopee, Massachusetts. You may recall that on Monday, Charles DiRosa posted a message on Facebook that read, “Put Wings On Pigs,” a reference to a Facebook post made by Ismaaiyl Brinsley before killing two NYPD police officers execution-style, in broad daylight. “Put Wings On Pigs” was Brinsley’s way of saying that he intended to kill cops, allegedly in revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, among others. DiRosa’s post was taken as a threat to kill cops, according to this Inquisitr report, and he was arrested.
Enter former East Windsor police officer, Raymond “Doug” Humphrey. After DiRosa’s arrest, Mr. Humphrey used his personal Facebook account to post remarks, not visible to the public due to privacy settings, in which he asked “law enforcement friends” to kill the Massachusetts man, according to WTIC.
It is unclear, as of this post, how the former East Windsor cop’s comments were brought to the attention of the East Windsor Police Department (EWPD). However, the EWPD issued a statement distancing itself from Mr. Humphrey and his remarks, via WWLP out of Springfield, Massachusetts.
“The East Windsor Police Department has just been made aware of allegations involving a Mr. Doug Humphrey and his reported aggressive or seemingly violence provoking comments on a public Facebook page operated by the Chicopee, Massachusetts Police Department. Mr. Humphrey voluntarily left employment with the Town of East Windsor more than 8 years ago for another law enforcement position in the State of Florida. His involvement with or any connection to the Town of East Windsor or the Police Department has been completely separated. The reported comments made by Mr. Humphrey are his and his alone.”
Both Mr. DiRosa’s case and the case of the former East Windsor cop raise questions about the right to free speech as it relates to apparent death threats on social media. A court will have to decide whether or not Charles DiRosa’s “Put Wings On Pigs” post is an actual threat or merely an expression; and even if it is a threat, it may still be protected by the First Amendment. Similarly, a court will have to decide if Mr. Humphrey’s remarks asking law enforcement friends to kill the Massachusetts man are an actual solicitation of murder, or simply remarks made in the heat of the moment.
As of this post, the former East Windsor cop has not been charged with any crimes.
[Image courtesy of: The Republican]