Minneapolis police have opened an internal affairs investigation after a string of recent Facebook posts purportedly from a police officer mocked protesters and encouraged looting in a neighborhood that is home to much of the city's Somali population.
The Facebook posts, first reported by City Pages, are shared under the name "Dave Rock." The newspaper reported that the account belongs to Officer David Peña.
Asked about Peña's current status or whether he was placed on leave, police spokesman John Elder said the internal affairs investigation has been opened "to find the origins of these posts."
"This behavior does not align with the vision, mission, values and goals of the Minneapolis Police Department," he said.
The posts on the Facebook profile, which show Peña in his police uniform, references an article about a man killed by police and reads "Good riddance!! One less thug!" Another depicts the high-rise apartments in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood where thousands of Somalis live. "To all the rioters & looters in Minneapolis: Ya missed one," it reads.
That posting triggered a call for Peña's firing by the Council on American Islamic Relations-Minnesota (CAIR-Minnesota).
"Officers promoting white supremacist threats and violence against communities of color should be disciplined swiftly through official action up to and including termination," said Jaylani Hussein, CAIR-Minnesota executive director. "The actions of this officer were dangerous and could have cost the lives of law-abiding citizens."