Officer fired for making racist comments online; some say it’s a misunderstanding due to new Facebook feature

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KAPLAN, La. (KLFY)- A Kaplan police officer was fired hours after posting what some have said was a racist comment on Facebook.

The comment was made underneath a live feed of the governor’s press conference Friday.

One commenter posted “Virus that was created to kill all the blacks is death.”

Kaplan officer Steven Aucoin commented: “Well it didn’t work”, then again he commented, “how unfortunate.”

Kaplan Police Chief Joshua Hardy says this behavior is not tolerated within this department and he fired Aucoin after an investigation of the entire thread.

“We’re held to a higher standard than normal civilians, so you got to watch what you do, you got to watch what you say. You can’t just go and post anything you want on social media,” the police chief said.

Joshua Brothers, a firefighter and army veteran, says he understands termination for violating social media polices. But saying Aucoin made a racist comment could be a misunderstanding because of new feature on Facebook. ​

“The newest update that Facebook does. It doesn’t put the comments in consecutive order like it used to. It’s not a time line thing. Relevant newer comments might be above. Some comments aren’t listed at all.​”

He claims the screenshot could be taken out of context and this is ruining a man’s career, a man’s life.​

​”I just want to see the true story brought out to light you know regardless of what it is. But I don’t believe that was his intent,” he said.

Authorities say they investigated the entire thread soon after they were notified.​

“There were some comments that were further up that was not suitable for a police officer to put up on Facebook,” Chief Hardy said.

Hardy said the department is moving forward making sure this will never happen again and that he has notified his officers of the social media policy which was updated when he arrived in office.

Kaplan resident Victoria Verdun says the termination was a mistake. She says Aucoin was a good officer when he was reported to her home.

“He’s the only one that follows the rule book. He doesn’t yell or curse at you like other officers do and I just don’t think it’s right. He’s far from a racist. He’s far from rude or whatever else people are calling him. He is just a man trying to provide for his family.”

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