Police director faces investigation after NFL protest post

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An internal investigation will determine whether the director of the Michigan State Police will be disciplined for sharing a Facebook post that called NFL players protesting during the national anthem “anti-American degenerates,” the agency said Friday.

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue will be treated the same as any other state police employee accused of misconduct, State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said. If she is found to have violated the agency’s social media policy, discipline could range between a written reprimand and a five-day suspension based on what has been assessed for similar violations, Banner said.

Etue has apologized, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will not fire her despite calls from Democratic lawmakers, a gubernatorial candidate, civil rights groups and others for her ouster.

Etue on Sunday shared a meme on her personal Facebook account signed “We the People.” It called NFL players who kneel during the national anthem “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans.”

The Michigan State Police social media policy allows employees to express themselves as private citizens “to the degree that their postings do not impair working relationships, impede the performance of duties, impair discipline and harmony among co-workers, or negatively affect the public perception of the department.”

It also warns workers that their internet communications may provide grounds for impeaching their credibility during judicial and other proceedings.
Snyder said this week that Etue has “had a very distinguished career.”

“How many people in life go throughout life without making some mistake? The thing is do you recognize you made a mistake, apologize, learn from that and move forward,” the governor said.

Republican state senators also defended Etue in a contentious debate with Democrats.

The taking of a knee during the national anthem was started last year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality.

Etue posted on Facebook on Sunday, the same day more than 100 NFL players sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the anthem after President Donald Trump had said players who protest should be fired.

“It is clear that Col. Etue does not understand the nature of the protests, nor respect the constitutional rights of citizens to peacefully protest,” said the chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, Democratic Rep. Sheldon Neeley of Flint. “This calls into question her ability and objectivity to lead the men and women in her department who are charged with not just enforcing laws, but also protecting and serving all communities, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

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4 comments

  • Commonsense

    Hey Sheldon, she has rights as well. Not everyone thinks the same. The world is producing little programmed robots. Sad that no can express their feelings anymore. What would our Forefathers think, they would be shaking their heads in shame…

  • Old Bob

    Tonight’s national news said NFL tickets sales are down 17%. All the NBA owners said all their players will stand for the National Anthem. It’s too bad the NFL owners made the choice they made. The season is over for me.

  • tracyd112

    What is it with the Media always trying to make the Police Look bad in any situation? Why is she held to a Higher Standard then the NFL Players? They all work for the Public they all wear a Uniform .People have the Right to say what they want. These guys are crying over things that are just not true.Why dont the Media show the Truth about what race is dies more at the hands of Law Enforcement? Why does the Media Like fox 17 want to rush to always run stories involving the police when it comes to African Americans? Funny you ran the Story of the 5 or 6 Kids took to the ground because someone said they saw a Gun? But yet the Media is not saying a whole lot about the 13 14 15 years olds out in the Middle of the Night Breaking into Gun Stores getting caught with some of the guns they sold. But yet Fox 17 will try to drag this respected Officer through the Mad for speaking her Mind .What Makes Police any different from the rest of us? Why Did Fox 17 and the rest of the news stations report daily on the NFL Player that said he was harassed and held at gun Point after the Mayweather/Mcgreagor Fight but was found to be Lying ?Oh but that was pushed under the carpet.