A Tacoma, Washington, police officer and two of his colleagues are under investigation for commenting on “defund police” protesters after one video went viral and got 8.5 million hits on Tik Tok.
Officer Sam Lopez said in the video:
So I come in this morning and was informed there’s going to be a protest to defund the police. Well, that’s fine, I like protests. Except for they requested a police presence, you know, for their safety, at the defund the police event. I shit you not.
Lopez, who goes by @immigrntaf on Tik Tok, is in his police uniform and appears to be in his police vehicle.
The local NBC affiliate, King 5, reported on the investigation of Lopez, Joshua Avalos and Helen Steiben, including seeking comments from a black organization that criticized Lopez.
“Officers act in this way because they feel that there are no consequences for their actions,” Lyle Quasim, who is with the Tacoma Pierce County Black Collective, said in the report.
“He is using his position as a sworn police officer inappropriately by taking a political position on a movement that derives from the people that he has sworn to protect and serve,” Quasim said.
“There are rules and regulations, there are protocol that establish a prohibition for police officers to use their vehicles, their equipment, anything associated with their duty without authorization. And I’m sure he did not have authorization,” Quasim said.
“Complaints are being investigated regarding videos posted by all three officers,” the Tacoma police said in a statement provided to King 5. “The complaints are still under active investigation,”
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