LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: In this photo illustration the Snapchat app is used on an iPhone on October 6, 2014 in London, England. Snapchat allows users' messages to vanish after seconds. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid

Offensive Snapchat post leads to suspension of Memphis officers

Two Memphis police officers have been suspended with pay because of an offensive Snapchat photo.

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The picture was posted the same night as the fatal shootings of five Dallas officers, and it came days after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile died at the hands of law enforcement.

The Snapchat photo shows a man aiming his gun at a cartoon figure of black man who is running.

A colleague of the officer posted a screen grab of the image on social media with the caption, "So I came across this on my Snapchat from a fellow officer, (and) I don't know how to take it."

Interim Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings suspended both officers. 

"The image is disgusting and will not be tolerated," he said.

The officers have been relieved of duty with pay until they have a hearing.

"We are certainly responsible for the decisions we make, and we are held to a higher standard,” Rallings told WHBQ.

In reviewing the Memphis Police Department policy, WHBQ found a section that deals with "Social Media Sites and Internet Content." It says, "Employees must avoid any conduct which could compromise the integrity of the department. This includes conduct related to materials posted on personal websites, social media, Twitter, Facebook ... etc."

"The fact that it could have been a Memphis police officer just blew me away, and again we deal with these things," Rallings said.

Sources told WHBQ that the officer who originally posted the photo could be fired.

The officer accused of retweeting it could face punishment, but not as harsh.

"My job is not shot off with my first emotion. My job is to find out the facts, determine if there is (a) violation and hold (the) officer accountable," Rallings said. 

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Posted by FOX13 Memphis on Friday, July 8, 2016

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