AKRON, Ohio – An Akron police detective fired earlier this year for his controversial remarks on social media has been reinstated to the department, according to the police union.
Detective James Anthony, a 23-year veteran of the Akron Police Department, was fired in February for violating the department’s rules for social media use, News 5 Cleveland reported.
He made a comment on his private Facebook page questioning why Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan hadn’t been “offed,” prompting media coverage and a public outcry, reported the Akron Beacon Journal.
According to Michael Leslie, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the union heard from its labor attorney and confirmed with the city that an arbitrator “ruled discipline was appropriate in this case, however; the amount of discipline was excessive. The ruling re-enforced the principle of progressive discipline for the violations of the city’s social media policy.”
As a result, the arbitrator ruled Anthony should be reinstated to his former position and rank following a 60-day suspension, according to the union. Moreover, he also will get back pay to the date the suspension should have ended.
“The Fraternal Order of Police is pleased with the ruling and agrees that the termination was excessive,” Leslie said in a statement. “We welcome back Detective Anthony and hope in the future that discipline issues will be determined more appropriately.”
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