Police Chief Who Called BLM Protesters 'Subhuman' Keeps Job

A police chief in Detroit has been suspended for 30 days and ordered to undergo cultural awareness and de-escalation training after he was found to have posted a number of inflammatory tweets about George Floyd protesters.

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted 5-2 to suspend Police Chief Robert J. Shelide but stopped short of firing him over his posts which appear to glorify and urge police brutality against the "barbarians" protesting across the country.

Shelide previously apologized for the comments he made on his now-deleted personal Twitter account earlier this month.

"Trump threatening to deploy the military. I have a better idea: unleash the real cops and let them take care of these barbarians. I promise it will be over in 24 hours," one tweet said. "Cops are crippled by politicians and the (what appears to be the word) media."

A second tweet added: "Wild savages. I wish to God I would have been there. Body bags for these vicious subhumans. Oh, on another note, I dare you to try and drag me out of my vehicle."

During the online board meeting, held on the video conference app Zoom, several people including local residents demanded that he be fired. Some even joined the Zoom call to hold banners and posters demanding Shelide lose his job over the remarks.

Defending himself, Shelide said he posted the tweets in anger after seeing the disorder break out during the protests, which included officers being injured. While pleading to remain in his position, Shelide denied that he is racist.

"I bleed blue. I've been doing this job since I was a kid," he said, according to The Detroit News. "This isn't a job for me. This is a calling."

Supervisor Rick Stathakis and Trustee Vince Viviano were the only two who voted against the motion to suspend Shelide.

Stathakis said he believes the chief should be fired as he "clearly cannot be trusted to enforce the law impartially," reported the Detroit Free Press.

"Shelide has let down Shelby Township. And he's let down America," Stathakis said.

"Our country stands for law and order. That means we do not decide for ourselves how to enforce a law. We do not kill or maim to send a message. Rather we insist that even as we punish criminals for their wrong doing, we treat them humanly.

"We do not tolerate vengeance, we demand justice. And justice demands uncompromising and impartiality to all people regardless of their ethnic background, regardless of their gender, regardless of their social standing."

Trustee Michael Flynn defended the chief, adding he does not believe he is racist.

"If I did, I'd vote to fire him and I'd be leading the charge," Flynn said.

Shelide's law enforcement counseling and training must now be completed in 60 days.

In a previous statement to the Detroit Free Press, Shelide said: "While an apology is insufficient and an insult to the gravity of my comments, I humbly and respectfully ask for the courtesy of forgiveness to those I have offended, to my department and more importantly to those I am sworn to serve."

The Shelby Township Police Department has been contacted for further comment.

Detroit
A person holds up a placard that reads, 'Black lives matter' during a protest in the city of Detroit, Michigan, on May 29, 2020, during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd. Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide has been suspended over tweets promoting police brutality. Getty
Police Chief Who Called BLM Protesters 'Subhuman' Keeps Job | U.S.