SEATTLE — A Seattle police officer who was fired over social media posts had been deemed “threatening” by the U.S. Secret Service, documents show.
The agency found officer Duane Goodman, an 11-year veteran, had made posts implying violence against former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Seattle Times reported. The Secret Service referred him for possible criminal prosecution but the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to file charges.
In a disciplinary document released Friday by the Seattle Police Department, Chief Carmen Best said Goodman’s social-media posts caused her to lose confidence in his ability to serve the public.
The document showed that in a hearing with the chief, Goodman promised not to repeat his mistakes. But the chief concluded that allowing him to keep his badge and gun wasn’t worth the risk.
“Your posts were malicious and threatening,” Best wrote in a formal report terminating Goodman last November. “For you to … embrace violence as a ‘solution’ for public figure(s) with whom you disagree is a betrayal of the values of our profession.”
The case became public after a synopsis was posted on the Office of Police Accountability’s website.
Goodman’s social-media posts included rants against “illegal immigration” and “appeared to endorse violence” against Obama and Clinton. Best noted that Goodman had recently been suspended for escalating another incident to the point where a fellow officer feared for their safety.
“The department’s ability to fulfill its public safety duties depends on communities believing that officers will treat them equally and with dignity, regardless of their immigration status,” Best concluded. “Your comments suggest that you will not do so. They could have substantial negative consequences to the relationship between members of the Department and those that we serve and showed exceeding poor judgment.”