Reynoldsburg Officer Fired Over Alleged Racist Facebook Posts

Reynoldsburg Officer Fired Over Alleged Racist Facebook Posts (Image 1)

A Reynoldsburg Police Officer is out of a job because of posts she shared on her Facebook page.

Reynoldsburg Chief of Police Jim O’Neill admitted the posts were shared by Officer Katherine Mielke in Dec. 2014. 

“It was racist in nature,” he said.

O’Neill says one post was an off-color joke about “an Asian person and the difficulty that they had dealing with English as a second language.”

Another post, he says, depicted black people in Ferguson, Missouri.

“The drawing, the features of, of, both the black man being arrested and other people who were standing in what would have been behind a police line were so far to the caricature side of things, that it was obviously meant to be racist,” O’Neill said.

Mielke’s 22-year career on the Reynoldsburg police force is detailed in 264 pages in her personnel file where she’s worked as a patrol officer, sergeant, and community resource officer over time.

The pages in her file are filled with multiple thank you letters, kudos for excellent work, and certificates of excellence.

But O’Neil says there was another instance before December where Mielke’s Facebook posts put the department in a bad light.

“Things had come to light on her Facebook page that that weren’t brought to us specifically but the school had caught wind of them. We had caught wind of them and the school decided they would rather not have her back,” O’Neill said.

Reynoldsburg residents Sean Hinton and Steve Rowe weighed in on the city’s choice to fire officer Mielke.

“That is a character flaw but I’m not sure if losing her job is worth it,” said Sean Hinton.

“I definitely believe that people should be able to express what they want to to a certain point where that point is, is difficult sometimes to judge,” Rowe said.

Leaders with the Reynoldsburg Police Department say they’ve spent the last 4 months investigating this case, even bringing someone from the outside to conduct interviews.

O’Neill says social media pages can provide a window into who people are really like and what he saw in this case was just not acceptable,

“It brings down everybody that wears a uniform,” he said.  

Mielke is working with the FOP to fight for her job, said FOP president Jason Pappas. 

“The FOP has only received the city’s summary of the investigation and found the information insufficient to support termination,” he said. “As such, we are appealing that decision.” 

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