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Details released on SPD officer fired for ‘malicious, threatening’ social media posts

An SPD officer was terminated over threatening social media posts. (British Columbia Emergency Photograph, Flickr Creative Commons)

Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability recently released its report on why a Seattle police officer was fired in November, with Chief Carmen Best citing “malicious and threatening” behavior on social media.

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According to a report from The Seattle Times, Chief Best pointed a series of social media rants from 43-year-old officer Duane Goodman against “illegal immigration,” and the supposed endorsement of violence against former President Barack Obama, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“For you to … embrace violence as a ‘solution’ for public figure with whom you disagree is a betrayal of the values of our profession,” Best said in a formal report outlining SPD’s justification for Goodman’s termination.

Goodman’s posts — originally reported to the OPA by an unnamed complainant — included one on Instagram, where he stated that “if you support illegal immigrants coming into our country so much then make a difference and bring them into your home and YOU support them you [expletive]!”

Another included a picture of a package bomb, with a caption that read, “I don’t condone sending package bombs but god[sic] it would be nice for Killary and Anti cop Obama to finally STFU! Maybe Obama will stop lying and claiming the good economy is from him.”

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In the OPA’s full report, it outlined how its reasoning for recommending Goodman’s termination was less related to his political leanings, and more about concerns he might engage in biased policing.

It is not and cannot be a policy violation for an officer to hold political views that may be out of line with those possessed by the majority of the community members and political figures in the City where that officer serves. However, based on the tenor of and vitriol contained in (Goodman’s) postings, OPA questions whether (he) is so averse to ‘illegal immigration’ that he would be unable to provide law enforcement services equitably and completely to an undocumented individual.

The Times notes that Goodman also has a drunk driving charge on his record from an August 2018 arrest in Renton. He has since pleaded not guilty, with a hearing set for February.

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