Monessen, PA – A Monessen police officer is under fire for writing a Facebook post asking who Kobe Bryant was on the day the famous basketball legend died in a helicopter crash.
“Who was Kobe Bryant?” the officer posted on Sunday, according to WPXI.
Bryant, a Los Angeles Lakers legend, and his 13-year-old daughter were killed in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles on Jan. 26 with seven other people.
They were on their way to basketball practice at Mamba Academy, the basketball superstar’s sports training facility, when the helicopter owned by Bryant crashed into a hillside.
There was no indication in the officer’s post that it was anything other than a question, albeit an unusual one, WPIX reported.
But the comments that were posted beneath the query quickly raised eyebrows and the ire of the community.
WPIX reported that the comments were peppered with images of a fiery explosion and somebody posted an image police officers dancing.
Community members expressed outrage at the insensitivity of the comments but placed the blame on the officer who originally posted the question asking who Bryant was, not the people who posted the offensive comments.
Some in the community said they believed the post was “racially insensitive” and that they have lost trust in the officer who wrote it, WPXI reported.
Monessen Police Chief Jim Smith said that he was aware of the Facebook post but hasn’t taken any disciplinary action at this time.
Chief Smith also told WPXI that the police officer’s union has gotten involved in the incident.
Blue Lives Matter reached out to the Monessen Police Department, but nobody answered the phone.
Calls weren’t answered at Monessen City Hall, either, and the mayor’s office phone extension went directly to a voicemail box that was full.
WPXI reported that they had gone to Monessen Mayor Matt Shorraw’s office and home, called his cell phone multiples times, and even tried to contact the officer at home but they didn’t get a response.