NewsLocal News


Wakulla Deputies Suspended Without Pay for Ferguson Facebook Comments

Wakulla County Sheriff's Office WCSO
Posted at 12:09 PM, Dec 30, 2014
and last updated 2015-02-13 12:56:02-05

WAKULLA COUNTY, FL (WTXL) -- As a result of an internal affairs investigation into 5 Wakulla County Deputies, two people have been put on an unpaid suspension.

The investigation was sparked after several deputies were part of a social media thread that some community members felt were derogatory. The posts were made in response to protestors and the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision.

During a Tuesday morning news conference, Sheriff Charlie Creel released the report from the internal affairs investigation. "Two of the five WCSO members will face additional discipline due to the social media posts and the three other members will not face any additional discipline beyond their recently served paid suspensions," released the Wakulla Sheriff's Department.

News Release from Wakulla County Sheriff's Department

Undersheriff Trey Morrison received a five day suspension without pay, will be required to attend mandatory diversity training and will be placed on six months’ worth of probation for posting syndicated cartoons that created a negative perception of the agency by the public and were likely to be offensive to African-Americans.

Detective Richard Moon was suspended for two days without pay, will be required to attend mandatory diversity training and will be placed on six months’ worth of probation for insensitive comments on social media following the posting by Undersheriff Morrison.

The suspensions were based on conduct unbecoming a law enforcement officer while in an off duty capacity. Sgt. Eddie Wester, Detective Rick Buckley and Detention Deputy Jeff Carroll were not given additional suspensions. Their comments were not viewed as racially provocative or offensive during the investigation.

Sheriff Creel fielded dozens of questions from the media and the members of the community who attended the press conference. He promised diversity training for all members of the agency and vowed that WCSO members under his supervision will always treat everyone within the community fairly.

“We don’t need to terminate,” the Sheriff said. “We need to educate.”

During the time of the investigation Sheriff Creel attended church meetings with the public in an effort to unite the community.

Sheriff Creel told the gathering that he plans to create a Citizens Advisory Committee in 2015 where members of the community can “bring things to me I need to hear.”

“We’ve run up against a hurdle and we’re going to jump this hurdle,” he concluded. The press conference was also attended by agency attorney Wayne Evans.