St. Louis Police Officer Gloated About Spending His ‘Annual Michael Brown Bonus’

A St. Louis police officer is under investigation after appearing to brag in a Facebook post about how he spent what he called his “annual Michael Brown bonus.” This week is the one-year anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson just outside of St. Louis. Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9 last year. A St. Louis County grand jury didn’t indict Wilson, but later he ended up resigning from the force.

During the anniversary demonstrations of Brown’s death, officer Todd J. Bakula was one of the St. Louis County cops who worked extra hours this week. Bakula appeared to have been bragging in his Facebook post about the extra income he made and how he spent it. Bakula’s post suggested he took his wife on a trip with the money.

The St. Louis officer included two photos in his post.

“I decided to spend my annual Michael Brown bonus on a nice relaxing bicycle ride trip to Defiance. Eating dinner now and staying at a bed and breakfast tonight,” he noted. He posted it to his personal Facebook page using the name “TJ Thekoola.”

The bed and breakfast the St. Louis police officer wrote about is in a town about 40 miles from Ferguson that’s known for outdoor recreation.

After reading the Facebook post, Shawn McGuire, a media relations officer with the St. Louis County police, wrote to the Guardian in an email, “Police officer Bakula is a patrolman with the St. Louis County police department.”

“We understand the post is controversial,” McGuire also said. “The St. Louis County police department takes these allegations very serious in every case. The remarks on the Facebook page will be investigated by our department.”

The St. Louis police officer’s Facebook post has been deleted, but the Guardian captured a screenshot before it was deleted.

According to St. Louis Public Radio, during protests following Michael Brown’s death last year, the police force made an estimated $90,000 to $100,000 per day in overtime costs.

During this week’s demonstrations, St. Louis police worked long hours and at least 150 demonstrators were arrested. St. Louis County declared a state of emergency Monday night, which remained in effect until Friday afternoon. The Associated Press reported St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar has been working to maintain calm between the police force and protesters.

“They’re not going to take the street tonight,” Belmar declared. “That’s not going to happen.”

What do you think the consequences will be from the St. Louis police officer’s Facebook post?

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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