Seaside Heights officer investigated for Facebook posts about Rolo the dog
One thing we’ve learned regarding the incident involving former Phillies’ pitcher Curt Schilling's daughter and vulgar tweets sent about her – is that what you say on social media will have a collateral effect one way or another.
The two individuals who started the thread about her are being investigated and dealt with accordingly.
Now there’s a new event – and it does make you wonder what you can or can’t say online – and the effect it will or should have.
After Saturday’s incident in Toms River where a couple of young men drove on the frozen river, only to have the truck crack through the ice killing a dog named Rolo inside , a large number of commenters to the story expressed disgust at the men who carelessly allowed it to die in the frozen water – despite reports indicating that one of them was actually trying to save the dog.
In turn, allegedly incensed over commenters' posts about how bad they felt for the dog, Sgt. Thomas Yannacone of the Seaside Heights police department took to his Facebook account on his own time and made some comments about the dead dog.
“Why didn’t he do the Doggie Paddle?” the first post read. ”Was his favorite movie Dog Day Afternoon? And was he listening to Van Halen’s Diver Down just before going through the ice? These are the questions I want answered!!!
The second post is even more blunt.
“Truck plunging through the ice with a dog inside brings new meaning to FROZEN WIENER DOG or DIRTY WATER DOG...what, too soon...calm down you animal loving freaks...just be glad it wasn’t a cat because that would have been one WET PU....!!!!!!”
In response to the posts, the department has taken it upon itself to investigate the matter, according to Detective Steven Korman - the department’s public relations spokesman.
While the investigation is going on, Yannacone will remain working on the force.
Here’s the deal:
Once you’re identified as a member of a high profile organization like a police department - which is always going to be cognizant of its image – they will take whatever measures they feel they need to. Whether it be suspension or what have you.
This despite what many of us feel is a right to free speech. And a Facebook post he made on his own time.
However, being identified as a police officer comes with a certain responsibility – and with social media, we all know, or should know, that whatever you post is out there for the world to see – and as such reflects on the employer.
In this case, the Seaside Heights Police Department.
So just as in the case of the two who tweeted about Schilling’s daughter and were taken to task by Brookdale and the Yankees – so too will the Seaside Heights Police Department look to find a remedy.
If anything - one thing remains clear.
The free speech you think you have comes with a price, there are repercussions.
Should Sgt. Yannacone be punished for Facebook posts he made about Rolo the dog?