Portland officers ordered to take down ‘I am Darren Wilson’ badge images
Portland, OR (KPTV) — Three Portland police officers posted images on their personal Facebook pages of the official Portland Police Bureau badge, surrounded by a bracelet saying, “I am Darren Wilson.”
Chief Mike Reese ordered them to remove the images Monday.
The images were posted as eyes around the country are focused on Ferguson, MO, where a grand jury decision was expected on whether to indict Wilson, a St. Louis police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in August.
The shooting and subsequent decision on whether to file criminal charges against Wilson sparked protests throughout the U.S.
Reese, in a statement Monday, said local officers “have a right to have and express their opinions but not using an official badge of the Portland Police Bureau.”
He called the altered image of the badge “very inflammatory in nature.”
“The badge represents all members of the organization, past and present, and is an important symbol in our community that must not be tarnished,” Reese said. “I’ve asked the Professional Standards Division to review this matter for possible policy violations.”
Mayor Charlie Hales also issued a statement on the situation Monday. He said police and city leaders have participated in specific discussions recently with community leaders about possible reactions in the metro area related to the grand jury verdict in Missouri.
“The actions taken by these three officers here in Portland do not help get us to that goal,” Hales said.
“The officers made a political statement by altering the city’s official badges. They were wrong to do so,” said the statement from Hales. “Their actions do a disservice to the hundreds of Portland Police Officers who are building relationships and partnerships with the community every day.”
The officers have not been identified by the Portland Police Bureau.