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Grand Chute officer under fire for derogatory social media posts

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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – An internal investigation is currently underway after racist and homophobic tweets by a Grand Chute police officer have surfaced.

Benjamin Glass says he was in disbelief when he saw the social media posts and that these posts were associated with a Grand Chute police officer. “I was shocked like I think most people would be, then I was curious to find out if they were legitimate.

Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson is quite candid about the veracity of these offensive tweets.

Chief Peterson says, “We recognized that they were written and shared back in his high school years. I think we determined 2011 through about 2014, but nevertheless they were certainly attributed to our officer, and consequently, we took the situation very seriously.”

Glass responds, “I don’t know any seventeen or eighteen-year-old that I’ve ever associated with that openly talked about wanting to murder people or wanting to plan a murder.”

Glass also says he was so outraged that an officer of the law posted those tweets that he formed a Facebook group to bring attention to this officer’s conduct.

These posts are not only littered with racial and homophobic slurs but also violent tweets and now Grand Chute police are conducting an intensive investigation of one of their own.

Chief Peterson says, “We have looked extensively at his full social media activities including his social media activity after leaving high school and what we discovered is that nothing, in particular, stood out from that high school period other than arguably very highly offensive tweets.”

The department is also examining his performance as a police officer.

“We have looked at the demographics of his arrest history. We found that he’s been with us about two and a half years and during that time, we found that he had been involved in arrest activity with 22 African-American suspects,” Chief Peterson explained. “So we recovered the body cam of every one of those contacts. Then randomly selected 22 arrest involving white suspects, because there were many more arrests of that category so we just randomly selected samples. We found no discernible difference in the way he treated people. He treated people respectfully with dignity and we found nothing to cause any concern.”

But residents worry this review isn’t enough.

“We don’t know how they vet their officers,” Glass says. “We don’t know how the internal investigation is run to determine that. I’m not out to just get somebody. I obviously disagree with their views. I know that he made some mistakes as a young man.”

Chief Peterson expanded, “The investigation is going to continue and we aren’t going to close it until we’re satisfied confidently there’s nothing we need to be concerned with but more importantly that the community needs to be concerned with.”

The officer in question is still on the force as the investigation is still ongoing.

A protest is planned Sunday, July 5, 2 p.m. at the Grand Chute police department.

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