An Alabama police officer lost his job after he posted a picture of a protester with a rifle scope’s crosshairs superimposed on the man’s body.
Hoover Police Officer Ryan Snow posted the picture on Facebook on June 23 in response to an article about the Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed by the police, reported AL.com. The article’s header photo featured a shirtless Black man with what appeared to be a shotgun resting on his shoulder. The article, written by WSB-TV, focused on armed community members who were guarding the site where the destroyed restaurant once stood. The headline of the article read “Armed protesters remain at Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed. So, what’s next?”
An Alabama police officer lost his job after he posted a picture of a protester with an image of the crosshairs of a rifle scope superimposed on the man (above). (Photo: Ryan Snow/Facebook screenshot)
Snow posted an edited version of the picture that showed a rifle scope fixed on the protester. He answered the headline’s rhetorical question in his caption.
“Exhale. Feel. Pause. Press steadily. That’s what’s next,” Snow wrote, according to Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis.
Derzis revealed Snow was questioned about it on June 24 and confessed. Snow was placed on administrative leave before he was eventually fired on Friday.
“When I saw the post and the image, it sickened me,” Derzis said. “It certainly did not adhere to the standards expected of every officer who wears our uniform.”
The restaurant burned down June 13, the night after Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe. Rolfe was fired and charged with 11 counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault. Devin Brosnan, another officer on the scene, was charged with aggravated assault for standing on Brooks’ shoulders as he died.
Brooks’ death was the latest to set off unrest in Georgia and across the country. Natalie White, 29, was arrested on June 23 and charged with first-degree arson for the fire on June 23. Brooks identified White as his girlfriend on the night of his death.