On Wednesday, the department apologized for the message, claiming an officer had intended to post it on his personal account.
“It is with regret that the Fall River Police Department’s Facebook page was accessed by personnel who inadvertently re-posted an opinion that was meant for their own personal account,” the department wrote on Facebook. “The posting in no way represents the opinion of the Chief of Police or the Fall River Police Department.”
Facing a mounting backlash, Fall River Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza said he was “extremely disappointed” by the mistake and pledged to investigate whether the officer should face discipline.
“I understand why people are upset,” Cardoza said in an interview with the Fall River Reporter. “I’m upset as well.”
Cardoza, who said he had personally talked to the officer about the incident, did not specify how the department might discipline the officer, who has not been named.
Hours after the jury found Chauvin guilty of all charges on Tuesday, Cardoza told the Fall River Reporter, someone shared a screenshot of a tweet criticizing Floyd with the officer in charge of administering the department’s official Facebook account. That’s when the officer got his personal and professional Facebook accounts mixed up, the chief said.
“He thought he was going to put that on his own Facebook account and what he did is he put it on ours,” Cardoza said.
The officer took down the post less than 10 minutes later as soon as he realized the mistake, the chief said. But many had already taken screenshots by then and local media soon wrote about the incident.
In an email shared with The Washington Post, Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan called the message “disappointing, frustrating and unacceptable.”
“The post, despite being intended for a personal page, contains beliefs completely incompatible with my hopes for the Fall River Police Department,” Coogan said.
Cardoza vowed to conduct a thorough investigation, adding that the officer is “extremely remorseful.”
“To put it mildly, he’s pretty devastated right now and knows that he made a big mistake,” Cardoza told the Fall River Reporter. “But having said that, he’s certainly created some animosity with some folks in the public and I just can’t have that.”