Bemidji Police Chief Denounces “Derogatory and Racial Comments” on Facebook Page
Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin condemned racist and hateful comments on the department’s Facebook page on Monday.
Mastin says the department uses the page to build trust and transparency with the public, solve crimes, and reunite lost or missing animals with their owners. However, the department has observed an increase in “derogatory and racial comments” on Facebook posts.
Chief Mike Mastin posted, “The Bemidji Police Department does not condone prejudicial comments from any group or person on our Facebook page.” He expressed that the 1st Amendment protects free speech, but the comments have no other purpose “but to perpetuate hate and racism.”
The small staff of the police department makes it difficult to monitor the page, according to the post. This is causing the department to evaluate how they use the page in the future.
Chief Mastin asked for patience and respect as they examine the laws surrounding social media, government, and the freedom of speech.