A police officer in Ohio has been placed on paid administrative leave for a Facebook comment he allegedly posted in response to an article about a Black Lives Matter activist who apparently committed suicide on the Ohio Statehouse steps in Columbus this week, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Officials said Fairborn, Ohio, police officer Lee Cyr was off duty when a post was made from his Facebook account on a story about the death of MarShawn McCarrel II, reading: “Love a happy ending.” Terry Barlow, Fairborn police chief, told the AP internal affairs will look into whether Cyr violated the social media policy of the department with the post.
The comment in question has since been taken down from the Ohio Politics Facebook page but was one of several similar comments about McCarrel’s death, including, “One down, many more to go,” and, “One less to worry about,” the Dayton Daily News reported. The 43-officer Fairborn department has no minority officers.
McCarrel shot himself Monday, and his body was found by a security officer, though nobody saw him pull the trigger, USA Today reported. Officials have said the suicide motive was unknown, but some who participated in protests alongside him said it was no accident.
"We've been working so hard, and yet the conditions for the people in our community and the people that he loved and cared about are still so hard,” Molly Shack, an organizer with the Ohio Student Association, said to the Columbia Dispatch. “I have to imagine that that burden weighed a lot on him."
Before his death, McCarrel posted to Facebook: “My demons won today. I’m sorry.”
— Evan Weber (@evanlweber) February 10, 2016
Black Lives Matter, a social justice movement that works to bring attention to the police killings of African-Americans, gained traction as a movement following the deaths of teens Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Black Lives Matter protests over police killings have taken place across the country in locations where African-Americans have been killed by police, including Chicago, South Carolina and New York.