Cleveland Metropolitan School District officer Matt Cicero has been placed on paid administrative leave after he published an inflammatory Facebook post about Tamir Rice and his mother.
Cicero patrolled the school district that Tamir Rice attended until his death last year.
Two days after the grand jury decided not to indict any officers in Rice’s shooting, Cicero made a post on Facebook where he took aim at Rice’s mother for her parenting and for her outrage at the grand jury verdict:
Tamir Rices (sic) momma just want money. Lets make the proper changes……raise your kids not to play with fake guns stupid bitch. All this media because the[y] are not getting what they want…… Again pleeeeze anyone who does not like what I post…..unfriendly me or block me your (sic) not worth my time.
When a Facebook friend responded to Cicero’s post by saying a child did not deserve to die for playing with a fake gun, Cicero made a follow-up comment.
“You pull out a gun you get shot. I don’t have time to ask questions and coddle kids that wave guns around,” he said. “White black purple or green. It comes down to parenting and the lack of it.”
Cicero deleted the post shortly after, but Cleveland city officials and local news outlets soon discovered his comments, which were saved by Facebook friends who apparently disagreed with his views. Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson are among those in the city calling for Cicero should be fired.
“It’s disrespectful to women, it’s disrespectful to African-Americans,” said Johnson. “The fact that he’s so insensitive and he’s placing the blame of Tamir’s death on Tamir, for me that’s enough for him to be not working with children in the Cleveland school system.”
Cleveland Metropolitan School District spokeswoman Roseann Canfora confirmed that the officer was on paid administrative leave while the district conducted an investigation. She also said that the CEO of CMSD had previously warned district employees to exercise caution and sensitivity when speaking about the death of Tamir Rice and the verdict.
“While we respect every employee’s right to freedom of speech, with those rights comes a responsibility to do so in ways that are appropriate and sensitive to others, particularly to the people we serve,” Canfora wrote in a statement to NewsNet5 Cleveland.
Watch NewsNet5’s report on the story in the video below:
[Raw Story] Featured image via screen grab