By Eric English at ABC
PHOENIX – Facebook is home to millions of videos posted by its users, but one video recently posted on the social networking site is causing quite a stir in the Phoenix Police Department.
“I am a police officer in Arizona. I work for the largest jurisdiction, the city of Phoenix,” officer Paul Dobson said in the video as he expressed his concern over SB 1070.
“This law is pure and simple a racist law. It is focused on latinos,” he said.
While some of the comments he makes on video don’t match the way the law is written, it’s gathering thousands of hits.
The Phoenix Police Department is now investigating to determine if Dobson broke any policies in making the video, but the police union stands behind him, saying his speech is protected.
“He very clearly says in the taped interview that the opinions he’s expressing are exclusively his own,” Joe Clure of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association said.
They say the tape doesn’t represent any misconduct.
The department brass disagree, saying they don’t want officers to engage in media discussions without approval — especially on such charged issues.
“What we look at as an organization is do you have your supervisor’s permission to make the media appearance, and more importantly, are you being professional about it is this part of the image that we want to uphold, is the information being portrayed accurately and professionally,” Sgt. Trent Crump said.
They say it doesn’t matter what the topic is, officers should not engage in public political debates.