SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Springfield police officer who was put on unpaid leave after being accused of posting hateful messages on social media has resigned.
According to Springfield Police, Aaron Nichols was put on unpaid leave after an anonymous blog connected Nichols to years worth of racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and anti-Semitic posts on multiple social media platforms.
The department suspended Nichols the morning after the accusations were made public.
Springfield Police Chief Ken Scarlette and several other members of the Springfield police department are expected to address the matter with the city council Tuesday at its weekly meeting.
The department opened an internal investigation into the accusations, saying the blog will be a central part of that investigation. That investigation will continue despite Nichols’ resignation.
Fifty-two state lawmakers weighed in on the case Monday night, sending a letter to the city calling for a thorough and independent investigation into the social media posts.
“It would be disturbing enough to know someone with these views was living in your community. But, to learn that such a person is exercising authority over the very people he declares his hatred for is terrifying.”
Since Nichols resigned while under investigation, he will be decertified. The department will report the case to the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.