Michigan Residents Demand Police Chief's Removal Over Controversial Tweets About Protests: 'I'm Angry and Ashamed'

Michigan's Shelby Township residents called for the removal of police chief Robert Shelide due to controversial tweets regarding protests during an online work session on Friday. One woman said she was "angry and ashamed" by Shelide's tweets.

The Detroit Free Press reported that members of the community voiced their disproval of Shelide's comments during a board of trustees work session conducted via Zoom.

As previously reported, Shelide had a Twitter account with the handle @sheepdawg711, where he voiced negative opinions about people protesting following George Floyd's death.

"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. Cops are crippled by politicians and the media," he wrote in one tweet. Other tweets from the since-deleted account referred to protesters as "vicious subhumans" and "wild savages."

According to the Free Press, members of the community displayed signs calling out Shelide.

"An apology just does not cover the fact, in his heart, this is how he feels. I'm angry and I'm ashamed for my township," a woman who had lived in the town for 45 years reportedly said.

"This is not how a higher-up in the police force should be acting," another resident said during the session.

While many spoke against Shelide, about 10 people spoke in support of Shelide, including a local detective who said that the chief had brought new technology to the department and said that he didn't believe Shelide supported police brutality.

The community relations department for the Shelby Township Police Department did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment in time for publication.

After Shelide's tweets were made known, he was placed on two weeks paid administrative lead by the board of trustees. He wrote an apology, asking for forgiveness for his comments made on social media and said he would use his leave time to reflect on how to "ensure that [his] behavior and comments going forward more accurately reflect [his] character and person."

"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. My record speaks to the commitment and professionalism that I have exhibited for more than 30 years without incident, both of which were compromised by my emotion," he wrote. "During my administrative leave issued by the department, I will fully cooperate with the investigation, and seek the support and counsel necessary to ensure that my behavior and comments going forward more accurately reflect my character and person."

Protesters march against police brutality and in memory of George Floyd in Detroit, Michigan, on June 7, 2020. SETH HERALD / AFP/Getty