dr martens manchester Police employee on leave after posting altered image
An Annapolis Police Department employee has been placed on leave after posting altered photos of a coworker in a department dispatch room, officials said.
The police department has launched an investigation into a Dec. 21 incident when someone taped to the walls several photos of employees with another person’s face altered onto the photo. Police Chief Scott Baker placed the employee on paid administrative leave. The intent of the act is unknown.
The police department is not releasing the employee’s name during the ongoing investigation, said city spokeswoman Susan O’Brien. The person is not a police officer.
There were more than three altered photos of different employees of varying races, O’Brien said. O’Brien said not all the people in the photos are officers. Their names are not being released during the investigation.
The internal investigation will determine if the same person altered all the photos, O’Brien said. O’Brien did not know if all the photos had been altered the same way.
In a post to his Facebook page on Wednesday, community organizer Carl Snowden posted an image of one of the altered photos. It shows a wall where a photo of Cpl. Kevin Freeman, a black officer, had been altered with a white person’s face superimposed over his. The altered image is taped to a wall under a plaque that reads “A Dispatcher’s Prayer.” Snowden is a guest columnist for The Capital.
Some Facebook commenters condemned the altered image of Freeman as racist. When contacted Thursday by The Capital, Freeman declined to comment.
“Discrimination or even the perception of discrimination is not tolerated by any department of the city of Annapolis,” Mayor Gavin Buckley said in a statement.
Freeman recently filed an appeal with the city’s Human Resources Department over police promotional practices.
The department found his appeal had merit, O’Brien said. She declined to describe the circumstances of the appeal, citing Maryland code barring dissemination of personnel records.
All candidates, including Freeman, were retested and passed, officials said. The test qualifies Freeman for a promotion but does not guarantee one, O’Brien said. The police department has had very few promotions this year, and those are unrelated to Freeman’s situation, O’Brien said.