Killen, AL – Killen Police Chief Bryan Hammond has been suspended 15 days without pay after joking on Facebook about being sexually assaulted.
Chief Hammond’s post came in the wake of the growing scandal involving Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore, according to The Hill.
Moore, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women.
The allegations involve Moore initiating sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Moore denies wrongdoing.
In a Facebook post, Chief Hammond wrote:
“On another note, Doug Jones fondled me on a boy scout camping trip in 1978. I wasn’t gonna say anything, but I just couldn’t stand the thought of him being a senator. I was ok with it until now. By the way, you can’t see me right now but I’m crying as I type this.”
Chief Hammond also posted a picture of a yearbook post on Facebook, which said “Bryan, Thanks for the great time camping. Doug Jones.”
The yearbook was an apparent reference to Moore, who has been accused of creepily asking to sign a high school girl’s yearbook.
Doug Jones is the Democratic senate candidate running against Moore.
He also wrote in a post that “silence is consent,” apparently referring to one of Moore’s accusers, Beverly Young Nelson. She has reported that Moore raped her in1977, when she was 16 and he was 30, according to AL.com.
Chief Hammond’s comments were posted on a thread about Nelson.
He told AL.com that his comments were intended as “sarcasm,” and apologized.
In a statement, Chief Hammond said, according to WHNT :
“Last week a friend of mine shared a post on her private Facebook page that was political in nature. I commented on her post in agreement, and we continued the conversation with a few others commenting on the same post.
During this conversation I used the term “silence is consent” in reference to people ignoring accusations from the opposing side. One of the others misunderstood the intent of that phrase, so I clarified what my intent was immediately after.
After explaining that it was in reference to the shoe being on the other foot, I gave an example by producing a similar example using the other candidate in my example. I joked back and forth with my friend over the comment and we discussed the joke later during a phone conversation.
The following day a reporter contacted me to ask about the post. She advised that someone had taken a photo of the conversation and forwarded it to her. I explained to her that the two comments she was asking about were only portions taken from the conversation.
I provided her with the other comments from the post which made it clear that the comments were intended as comedy. I also explained that the example was in no way true and I had never even met the candidate. Later that day the reporter decided to publish an article about the comments.
I am truly sorry for any of my comments that may have been offensive to anyone. I never meant for the comments to be taken seriously, they were meant only as a joke with a friend.
I’ve learned from this experience to refrain from any discussion that could be offensive to anyone who might read it, even if the comment were not intended as a public post.
The day after the comments were made my friend discovered that someone saw it as something other than a joke as we both intended and she decided to delete the entire post. Once again, I’m sorry for any comments I made that may have been offensive to anyone who read them.“
Chief Hammond will return to work on December 6.
Do you think that the suspension was warranted based off of the social media posts? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.