Portland Cop Gets Reassigned After Insensitive Tweet About Black Lives Matter Activists

The cop was complaining about a forthcoming Black Friday protest, calling protesters "fools."

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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A Portland police officer has been taken off the streets after complaining on Twitter about having to work a forthcoming Black Lives Matterprotest, a tweet that promptly went viral and inspired a wave of controversy. Though the 25-year police veteran ultimately removed the tweet, the screengrab is still readily available:

Confirmed - this is the questionable #BlackLivesMatter tweet from @PortlandPolice Officer John Hurlman pic.twitter.com/au7APQJhCN

— Mike Benner (@MikeBennerKGW) November 25, 2015

John Hurlman has now been pulled from patrol duty, according to a Portland Police Bureau statement cited by Time. "This post is in no way a reflection on how members of the Portland Police Bureau view these community groups or their peaceful expression of free speech," Acting Chief Donna Henderson said. "Just as with any protest or demonstration, police will work to ensure a safe, secure, and orderly event for all community members and to minimize disruptions to traffic."

Though Hurlman’s wife insists that her husband "would protect anyone’s right to free speech and protest" and that the tweet was not intended to "belittle their cause," KGW News notes that Hurlman's career does include a history of controversy. In 2012, Hurlman made headlines after sending what he called a "knee-jerk" text to a bunch of fellow officers regarding a Department of Justice inquiry. Hurlman ultimately apologized, according to the Oregonian, but stood by his disapproval of the DOJ’s findings:

The U.S. Department of Justice had found that Portland police engage in a pattern and practice of excessive force against people suffering from mental illness.

Another incident, involving Hurlman fatally shooting a neighbor's dog in 1997, eventually ended with the officer paying the family $10,000 to drop the case. According to KGW News, Hurlman lived and worked in Hillsboro, Oregon during this time but moved out of the area following the controversy.

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