Philadelphia officer reinstated – with full back pay – after being fired for social media posts

Share:

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Following a campaign launched by the Plain View Project that published alleged “racist” or “insensitive” Facebook posts from police officers, numerous Philadelphia Police officers wound up being fired or disciplined throughout 2019. 

However, one of the officers that was fired during these sweeping enactments of discipline was recently reinstated – with full back pay

The disciplinary actions taken against Philadelphia Police officers started after the Plain View Project started gaining traction with documenting posts online allegedly shared by police officers that could be construed as insensitive, promoting violence, and potentially racist. 

A review many of these posts and/or comments made by alleged police officers on this still-active database seem to host run-of-the-mill outrage comments (typically denigrating towards liberals for the most part). 

This particular database saw 15 Philadelphia Police officers get fired, with 193 other officers attaining some level of discipline over department policy violations. 

Among those fired in 2019 was Officer Christian Fenico, which his posts/comments that were the subject of his firing can be viewed here

However, reports indicate that following a grievance filed by an arbitrator with the police union, it was ruled that Officer Fenico’s social media posts didn’t prevent him from being a valuable officer to the department. 

Arbitrator Timothy J. Brown reviewed the posts made by Officer Fenico, which the city had described in legal documents as “a mix of racial bias, anti-Muslim sentiment and promotion of extrajudicial violence.”

While Brown thought some of the comments and posts made by Officer Fenico were eyebrow-raising at times, he felt the city went too far with firing the officer over the content posted online: 

“I am not persuaded by the city’s arguments that [Fenico] cannot correct his conduct and be a productive member of the department.”

There are reportedly a handful of officers that have been fighting the discipline levied toward them during the 2019 debacle, which at least one officer who attempted to contend his termination was denied reinstatement during an arbitration hearing this past December. 

That former officer, identified Daniel Farrelly, had reportedly referred to black people as “animals” in a number of posts to Facebook, which arbitrator Brown found Farrelly’s conduct online “degraded individuals and communities.”

Farrelly, during his December arbitration, told Brown that he felt he posted nothing that was inappropriate: 

“To be absolutely honest with you, I looked through them, and, I mean, I shrugged my shoulders. I really didn’t think there was anything super — nothing bad at all to tell you the truth.”

“I posted thousands and thousands of posts through the years. And I never worried about one of them.”

John McGrody, vice president of the Philadelphia FOP, described the termination of officers over their social media posts was the city basically engaging in “cancel culture” and had even come to the defense of Farrelly during his arbitration hearing in December. 

NBC Philadelphia reports that other officers that were caught up on the disciplinary moves made in response to the Plain View Project’s efforts have also resulted in civil suits being filed: 

“Some of the disciplined officers also filed two civil lawsuits in recent months. One of those lawsuits that claimed officers were discriminated against for holding right-wing views was dismissed last month after procedural defects, but a second lawsuit is still pending.”

 Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Back in January of 2020, we at Law Enforcement Today had reported on police officers in Dallas, Texas being disciplined due to the very same website that caused the outrage in Philadelphia. 

Here’s that previous report. 

_

DALLAS, TX- Reports have surfaced stating that the Dallas Police Department has disciplined 13 officers for “misconduct on social media”. Apparently, these posts were discovered by the Plain View Project researchers in 2019.

While the specific offending posts haven’t been revealed, a look into what posts the PVP consider to be controversial could make one think it’s more like an anti-police group rather than one citing authentically concerning posts online.

According to a press release by the department on Thursday, while 13 officers have received some level of discipline, the command staff at the department are still considering two other cases.

The PVP decided to comb through the active and retired/former police officers’ social media accounts from 2010 to 2018. Thereafter, the Internal Affairs Division of the department decided to expand the scope of the review through 2019.

During the course of the investigation, the PVP recognized 169 former and current DPD officers who they thought had violated the department’s social media policies. While officials noted that 60 of the individuals identified were no longer with the department, that still left 109 officers having their activity reviewed.

Internal Affairs collectively reviewed 445 posts or comments made by the 109 officers cited by the PVP.

The investigation revealed that some of the posts pointed out by the PVP wound up not being in violation of the department’s policy.

However, officials did feel as though there was some additional training needed to be rendered toward officers regarding their online conduct and use of social media.

While looking into the database that the PVP hosts, some of the screenshots of posts they consider to be concerning are almost laughable. One “offensive” post was a picture of someone who got a tattoo of the comic character The Punisher.

Another post that the Project claims to be troubling is one where a DPD officer shared an article about a homeowner shooting an intruder.

Also, apparently a police sergeant referring to an accused murderer of 5-month-old as “trash” is offensive, too.

This PVP group also thinks that sharing Daily Wire articles about the South African Parliaments voting to seize the land owned by whites in the country is offensive as well. Heaven forbid your truck have the words “Back the Blue” with a super-imposed Punisher Skull – that puts you on the PVP radar.

For the “offending” officers involved, the discipline that has been handed out ranges anywhere from documented counseling to suspensions without pay.

So, because people are triggered by police posts, they’re now losing out on tangible money. Great work PVP, you’ve really shown your true colors on this one – and those colors are blatantly anti-police.

What’s disappointing is that Chief Renee Hall caved to the social pressure from these goons at the PVP masquerading as some public-service provider. Chief Hall released a statement regarding the outcome of the investigation:

“Every action by a Dallas Police Officer impacts our relationships with our entire community. It is imperative that we operate with the highest level of ethics and integrity to ensure that the public is confident in the legitimacy of who we are as a law enforcement agency.”

Even more troubling, is that the group hosts more than just DPD posts on their online database that anyone can access. Seven other departments across the country are actively having their social media accounts monitored by the nefarious group.

Thus far, they’ve compiled 5,095 posts while revealing the names, locations, and salaries of the officer’s who posted content that appears on their site.

As a result, over 3,000 officers have essentially been doxed by the group’s activities. Why any police department would entertain a group that gets offended by any pro-police content online is beyond the comprehension of this author.

_

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
 
Facebook Follow First
Share:
Related Posts