Oregon officer placed on leave for calling Black Lives Matter protest “target practice”

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On Thursday, an Oregon police officer was placed on leave after a Facebook post in which he suggested that a Black Lives Matter protest was “target practice.”

West Linn police Officer Tom Newberry said in posts obtained by KGW-TV that a day designated by the movement as a day of protest should be instead called a “day of target practice.” He then said that, if protesters blocked the streets, his followers should “remember, there are 3 pedals on your floor. Push the right one down.”

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The officer has since been placed on paid administrative leave while the department investigates whether he broke rules by the department or the city.

“To say the least, I am extremely disappointed if those were in fact his posts, and I don’t take my officers posting stuff like that lightly. To be honest, it pisses me off,” West Linn police Chief Terry Timeus told The Oregonian, adding that he doesn’t “appreciate my officers or any citizen posting stuff that’s inflammatory against any movement or any race.”

“The West Linn Police Department takes allegations of wrongdoing seriously and will take appropriate action to hold our members accountable,” department officials said. “We work hard to maintain the trust of those we serve.”