University suspends police chief over social media post

Published 6:09 pm Wednesday, June 3, 2020

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The Troy University police chief was suspended on Wednesday after making inflammatory comments on social media regarding the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor, said Chief of Police John McCall was suspended “effectively immediately” Wednesday evening, and an internal investigation is underway.

Posts attributed to McCall were distributed on Facebook Wednesday afternoon. In those posts, McCall offered opinions about the death of Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers, saying at one point: “Did George Floyd play a role in his own death? ABSOLUTELY! He fought with police who were trying to make a lawful arrest.”

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Hawkins said in a statement those comments do not reflect the values of Troy University.

“We firmly reject any suggestion that George Floyd contributed to his death or that his actions justified the lethal force inflicted on him,” Hawkins said. “We support the calls for reform and an end to police violence that disproportionately targets our black citizens.

“Troy University has long been guided by the philosophy that understanding leads to appreciation. Understanding starts with listening. We hear the voices of our students and voices of all people who are calling for change. We are committed to a campus culture of policies that ensure all people feel safe and supported.”