Seattle police officer fired over 'derogatory and entirely unacceptable' social media posts




  • In US
  • 2022-10-04 22:31:04Z
  • By KIRO
 

A Seattle police officer was fired last month following an internal investigation that found he violated department policy by posting content to Twitter that caused "great harm to the Department's relationship with the community."

SPD launched the investigation after a Twitter user posted a lengthy thread last year that included screenshots of tweets posted by Officer Andrei Constantin, who used an anonymous Twitter account, in 2020 and 2021. Constantin's Twitter account has since been deactivated.

In its disciplinary action report following the investigation, SPD said Constantin's tweets were "extremely unprofessional, offensive, derogatory, and entirely unacceptable."

The social media posts included content that celebrated violence against protestors, publicly accused SPD of hating its employees, blamed victims of assault and taunted family members of deceased individuals, according to the DAR report.

In an interview with the Office of Police Accountability, Constantin reportedly admitted to posting the tweets on his personal account and expressed a high degree of remorse. He also expressed that he was "greatly impacted by the riots in 2020 and used social media to vent" and has since engaged in mental health treatment.

The investigation ultimately determined that Constantin violated SPD's social media policy and engaged in unprofessional behavior and bias-based policing.

In his determination, SPD Chief Adrian Diaz also acknowledged Constantin's history of disciplinary issues, including two prior suspensions.

He was last suspended after he deliberately broke the driver's side window of a car parked at a gas station while the driver and a passenger were inside of the vehicle, according to an OPA case summary released in March. Following this incident, he was suspended for eight days without pay and OPA recommended that he receive a training referral for additional coaching on "tactics and decision-making regarding solo officer contacts."

"I appreciate the steps you have taken to get support following the impact of 2020, and your service to this Department. However, in considering all the information provided, I also must take into account your history of discipline, which includes two prior suspensions for lack of professionalism and other SPD policy violations," reads Diaz's determination in part. "While I acknowledge the very difficult period you went through, your posts were inexcusable. The comments you made spewing contempt towards those with mental health problems, veterans, and many others. Ridiculing the parent of a deceased individual and celebrating violence are simply incompatible with the expectations and mission of the Department."

Constantin and his representatives met with Diaz on Sept. 8 to discuss the recommended discipline following the OPA investigation.

He was fired later that month, as first reported by reporter Erica C. Barnett.

SPD later confirmed to KIRO 7 that Constantin's employment with the department was terminated on Sept. 23.

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