A police officer from Springfield, Mass., made shocking comments on social media in defense of the driver who killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer during the August riots in Charlottesville, Va. He has now been fired because of the posts.
As white supremacists clashed with Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists after a nationalist rally turned violent in Charlottesville over the summer, James Alex Fields Jr., who was videotaped attending the rally, engaged in a fatal car attack that left Heyer dead and others wounded.
In response to a Facebook post by conservative Ben Shapiro, who called Fields’ attack “disgusting,” officer Conrad Lariviere reportedly wrote, “Hahahaha love this. Maybe people shouldn’t block roadways.”
Despite the fact that Fields, who has a history of violence, was charged with second-degree murder and the headline referenced in the post declared that a person had died, Lariviere made the provocative remark, then engaged with others on the post, defending Fields and saying he may not have been a “Nazi scumbag.”
Later, he apparently regretted his comments. Mass Live reports:
Lariviere … expressed remorse for what he described as “a stupid comment about people blocking streets.”
“Never would I want someone to get murdered. I am not a racist and don’t believe in what any of those protesters are doing,” Lariviere told MassLive. “I’m a good man who made a stupid comment and would just like to be left alone.”
According to MassLive, he has now been fired for the “inflammatory comments.” Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said last Friday that after an investigation, he decided to fire Lariviere because the comments hurt the department.
“It was determined that Officer Lariviere impaired the operation of the Springfield Police Department or its employees and discredited the department,” Barbieri said.
The police union representing the Springfield Police Department said there was more to the post. Lariviere said one Facebook user who spoke against his posts was a “brat” who was living “in a fantasy land with the rest of America while I deal with the real danger.”
“His point was that such disorderly behavior has serious consequences, and both sides of the dispute bore responsible for the disruptions,” a statement released by the union read. The union is “disappointed” by the decision to terminate Lariviere’s employment.
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