- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Massachusetts police officer is reportedly being investigated after he mocked the victims of a car-ramming attack at Saturday’s violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Facebook.

“Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block roads,” Springfield Police Officer Conrad Lariviere wrote in a Facebook comment on a news article from the conservative website The Daily Wire, titled, “Horror: Car plows into protesters in Charlottesville; One dead, 19 injured,” MassLive reported.

A 32-year-old woman was killed and more than a dozen injured after a 2010 Dodge Challenger driven by James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old reported Nazi sympathizer from Ohio, plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters during clashes with white supremacist groups Saturday in Charlottesville.

Mr. Fields is charged with second-degree murder and is being investigated by the FBI and Department of Justice. Two Virginia State Police troopers were also killed in a helicopter crash near the protests.

In the original post that has since been deleted, Officer Larivere appeared skeptical that the driver, who had not yet been identified, was a neo-Nazi, MassLive reported.

“How do you know he was a nazi scumbag?” he reportedly wrote. “Stop being part of the problem.”

Responding to another commenter, he reportedly wrote: “I’ve been hit by a s—tbag with warrants but who cares right you ignorant brat live in a fantasy land with the rest of America while I deal with the real danger.”

Officer Larivere later said he regretted what he described as “a stupid comment about people blocking streets.”

“Never would I want someone to get murdered. I am not a racist and don’t believe in what any of those protesters are doing,” he told MassLive. “I’m a good man who made a stupid comment and would just like to be left alone.”

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said the department has launched an investigation into the comments.

“If in fact this post did originate from an officer employed with the Springfield Police Department, this matter will be reviewed by the Community Police Hearings Board for further action,” Commissioner Barbieri told MassLive in an email.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno on Sunday condemned the officer’s comments.

“There is no place for this in our society, let alone from a Springfield Police Officer,” Mr. Sarno said. “I stand by and commend Commissioner John Barbieri’s steps for a thorough internal investigation and review by our Community Police Hearing Board to pursue the appropriate discipline against said officer.”

The Springfield Chapter of the NAACP has demanded the police department be transparent in its investigation of Officer Lariviere.

“The fitness to serve in the capacity of a police officer by anyone who gives public voice to such blatant insensitivity should be immediately evaluated,” president of the local chapter Bishop Talbert W. Swan II said in the statement, MassLive reported. “if the allegations regarding Officer Lariviere are valid, he has demonstrated a serious lapse in judgement, something that could mean the difference between life and death in the line of duty.”

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