COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A police officer in Colorado Springs has been temporarily suspended and removed from a specialized unit after an internal affairs investigation determined that he posted “KILL THEM ALL” during a Facebook livestream of protesters in late June.
An investigation determined that Sgt. Keith Wrede used the fake name “Steven Eric” when he posted “KILL THEM ALL” and “KILL EM ALL” during a local television station’s live coverage of a protest on Facebook Live.
The discovery was made when KRDO received a tip from a viewer that Wrede wrote the comments. The station contacted CSPD and an internal affairs investigation was then launched.
The tip alleged a Colorado Springs police sergeant used a pseudonym when posting comments including, “KILL THEM ALL.” Another post on the Facebook page included photos of the protest and called the Black Lives Matter organization a “terrorist.”
In a letter to the community published Monday, Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Vince Niski said the investigation found that Wrede had made the comments while off-duty “out of frustration and there was no indication of any physical action or intent to cause harm.”
He pushed back on calls to fire Wrede, saying the sergeant has professionally served the community for 20 years, and the post was “an isolated incident of an error in judgment.”
“While his statements were harmful and reprehensible, I cannot deprive the community of a good police officer and his services because of an isolated incident of an error in judgment. We hope that you can accept our apology and be assured that the CSPD and Sgt. Wrede will continue to faithfully serve the public,” Niski wrote.
Wrede was suspended for 40 hours, removed from his specialized unit and reassigned to a different position within the department. The suspension resulted in about $2,000 in lost wages.
The entire letter to the community from Chief Niski is posted below and also can be found here.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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