A Hudson County Sheriff’s officer has been placed on administrative leave and has had his service weapon withdrawn as an internal investigation continues into allegations he disparaged Muslims in a profanity-laden Facebook post.
Sheriff’s Officer Alex Pino's comment has since been deleted from Facebook, but according to NJ.com he wrote:
“(EXPLETIVE) THE KORAN (EXPLETIVE) THE MUSLIMS (EXPLETIVE) THE TERRORIST. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT. (EXPLETIVE) ON THE MOSQUES. TEAR THEM ALL DOWN. WE SCCOMMODATE (sic) TOO MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE HERE. FOLLOW OUR KAWS (sic) IN PLACE.”
Pino told NJ.com that he was sorry for his comments, but that they were made as a private citizen “in the heat of the moment.” The 37-year-old said that his comments were aimed at extremists, not “good” Muslims, and that he is entitled to his opinions.
Pino is a disabled veteran who was deployed to Iraq three times. He said he was "defending myself and the people in the line of duty and my fellow veterans who gave their lives" and that his comments were in reaction to another Facebook user and not directed at all Muslims. He also said he feared for his life and was "tired of being bashed all the time" as a police officer.
The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have any specific rules or guidelines for its officers on social media, but Sheriff Frank Schillari said that police must be held to a higher standard and that the matter is being taken very seriously.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to me for any member of this department to disparage any race, religion or ethnic group no matter the forum or the medium,” Schillari said, adding that the comments don’t reflect his views or the views of the department.
The sheriff’s office wouldn’t say if Pino, who has been with the department for about 10 years, has ever been reprimanded in the past.