The St. Louis County police are investigating one of its officers after he bragged about spending the “bonus” he received for working during the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the Guardian reported Friday. The officer, Todd J. Bakula, reportedly made the comments on his Facebook page.
Bakula apparently received extra money for policing protests -- marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death -- that began in the St. Louis suburb Aug. 9. Protests in Ferguson, which sometimes turned violent, forced authorities to declare a state of emergency Monday until Thursday. Several arrests were also made as hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the use of excessive force by police when dealing with black people.
In the Facebook post, under the user name TJ Thekoola, Bakula wrote he was "spending my annual Michael Brown bonus on a nice relaxing bicycle ride trip,” according to the Guardian.
The post was reviewed by Shawn McGuire, media relations officer at St. Louis County police, who confirmed to the Guardian by email that “police officer Bakula is a patrolman with the St. Louis County police department."
“We understand the post is controversial,” McGuire reportedly added. “The St. Louis County police department takes these allegations very serious in every case. The remarks on the Facebook page will be investigated by our department.”
Brown was fatally shot by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. The incident sparked days of unrest in Ferguson and public anger was further fueled after a grand jury in November 2014 decided not to indict Wilson for the death of the 18-year-old unarmed teen.