A woman from Chicago filed a complaint with the Salem Police Department and Marion County Sheriff’s Department in Oregon, after two police officers she had never met allegedly “trolled” her on Facebook following Donald Trump’s election victory on November 8th.
Liz McArthur claimed the trolling started after she shared a Huffington Post article to Facebook entitled “Women Of The World: It’s Time To March On Washington.”
McArthur posted the article about an anti-Trump protest in Washington along with the comment, “I am going,” and several strangers started to post jokes and memes in response.
One of these individuals was reportedly Deputy James Coleman of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, who posted a Frozen meme featuring the character Elsa and the caption “Election is over. Let it go, let it go!”
He also posted a link to an anti-depressant drug after McArthur swore at the men, telling the police officers to “get fucked” and to “eat a bag of shit.”
Chad Galusha, an officer at the Salem Police Department, also allegedly joined in, posting a meme that joked Hillary Clinton was “The first woman in the U.S. to lose two presidential elections,” a picture of a Clinton supporter crying, and another that featured a fisherman along with the caption, “Just a troll fishing for liberals.”
“I didn’t want to spark any sort of debate. I just wanted to feel empowered and that this was happening,” said McArthur about posting the article. “It was kind of an out of body, like a bad dream… It was sort of spinning out of control.”
“I was in complete disbelief. I only know great cops,” she continued, before filing a complaint.
“It’s behavior of a coward, and I know police officers are brave. They’re not cowards, and that’s what trolling is,” said McArthur. “They were like a faceless mob to me.”
In her complaint, McArthur said “I don’t need to explain what he was doing. He was trolling me. I know that…”
“Each time he tried to engage me, I responded exclusively with ‘get f*****,'” she continued. “I don’t know this man, did I mention that? He came at ME. As I said, we are not friends on Facebook. He went WAY out of his way to come after me and at one point he even started tagging his friends in empty comments for…backup? No idea. But then I had his Facebook mob after me. Which I understand isn’t a real mob, but it was unwanted, unprovoked and disturbing.”
Lt. Steve Birr from the Salem Police Department concluded that Officer Galusha was exercising his First Amendment rights, stating, “When he took the oath to protect the Constitution, it didn’t mean he gave up his Constitutional First Amendment right”.
“It’s unfortunate the woman in Chicago got her feelings hurt,” continued Lt. Birr. “Whether it’s a Thanksgiving dinner table, a bar or the internet, for a lot of people, discussing politics is not a good idea.”
The Marion County Sheriff’s Department has not yet commented on McArthur’s complaint against Deputy James Coleman.