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Chattanooga police officer under review after offensive posts on Facebook

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A Chattanooga police officer is in trouble after Facebook comments involving racial injustice on a public page.

Many have taken to social media recently to share their opinions over the cases involving Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

But when Officer William Puckett sounded off about the subject on Facebook, Chief Fred Fletcher was forced to intervene.

Channel 3 obtained screen grabs of those comments, but blurred some words out because they are offensive.

Chattanooga resident Chris Brooks was voicing his opinion over racial injustice on his Facebook page when William Puckett chimed in earlier this week.

Brooks says he's never met Puckett and the two were never friends on Facebook when Puckett started posting on the public profile.

Brooks reviewed Puckett's page and found out he was a Chattanooga Police Officer. The comments were enough to offend some, including Brooks, which is why he brought them Chief Fred Fletcher's attention.

“I took a quick look at them and they were enough to concern me that I called my chief of staff and he got a hold of that officer immediately and lunched a full fact finding review to see what exactly happened,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher also personally called Brooks about the posts.

Channel 3 asked the chief how social media is handled within his department. He told Channel 3 he expects a certain standard from his officers regardless of the platform.

“We expect every officer to behave regardless of the medium in a manner that brings credit to the police department, the profession and the City of Chattanooga regardless of the mechanism of communication,” Fletcher said.

Officer Puckett's Facebook page has since been deactivated. But as we all know, with screen grabs and print screens, what you post online can catch up with you, even at work.

“I think that sometimes people start talking and things can get away from themselves, but it is our obligation as professionals and as public servants to moderate our behavior and be aware of what we're saying,” Fletcher added.

The investigation into the social media posts is still ongoing.
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