SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County Sheriff’s Office deputy is on administrative leave after posting a comment on Facebook calling for a “lynch mob.”
Late Tuesday, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar released the following statement in regard to the post:
“The deputy who made this post has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by BCSO Internal Affairs. I have made my stance clear, that I will not tolerate any employee who makes insensitive, racist remarks/posts, or those which promote violence and criminal activity. I have every intention of handling this case as swiftly and severely as possible.”
For most of the day, the sheriff’s office refused to respond to requests for comment about the post from KSAT other than to say it was investigating.
The post, which called for a “lynch mob” in a comment on a post about a petty crime, was reported to the sheriff’s office on Monday by a concerned resident. The post had been public for weeks.
”It was extremely concerning,” said Eliza Reyes, who reported the post to authorities yesterday. ”I saw someone post something about a man stealing mail, and then I was going through the comments, I just go through comments... And then I saw a comment and it just said, you need to lynch this man or something.”
Reyes’ concerns grew when she realized the comment was made by a man who appeared to be a Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy, based on now-deleted images on his Facebook profile that showed him in uniform.
”First of all, nobody should be saying that. And then for him to be, you know, protect like someone who’s supposed to protect us and look out for the community was really scary and disgusting, really uncalled for,” Reyes said.
This incident comes two weeks after a BCSO deputy was put on administrative leave pending the investigation into a separate Facebook post.
That one KSAT12 reported on June 4 suggested that people involved in looting or rioting should be shot.
By law, peace officers are prohibited from using such language as described in both events.
The post comes at a time when many are reflecting on deep-rooted racial disparities in the United States, which includes lynchings of thousands of African Americans by white people during slavery and Jim Crow.
Given recent hangings in Texas and California, Reyes says the comments are even more traumatic.
She said nows the time, more than ever, to speak out.
”We just always let things go... It goes further and further. And until someone is hurt, you know, and we need to stop that. We need to stop it before it happens,” Reyes said.
The deputy who allegedly made the post did not return a request for comment.