The Facebook activities of a longtime Reynoldsburg, Ohio police officer got her fired this month.
Officer Katherine Mielke, who worked for the department for 22 years, was terminated last week following a months-long investigation into her behavior on social media.
Reynoldsburg Police Chief James O’Neill called for Mielke’s termination last month, charging her with violating police conduct rules and saying her reputation was so damaged that she would no longer be an effective officer for the city.
Mielke, according to O’Neill’s report, shared a cartoon on Facebook depicting a black man with exaggerated features being arrested near a violent crime scene while similar characters complained of police brutality.
She also shared a joke that mocked a Chinese man’s struggle to understand English that culminated in him having sex with his boss’ wife.
Other officers and city employees had asked Mielke to stop posting racist materials, O’Neill wrote.
“I believe that there is real potential for long-term, irreversible damage to the reputation of the City of Reynoldsburg and the Reynoldsburg Division of Police,” O’Neill wrote. “I also feel that there is a likelihood that any future adversarial dealings Officer Mielke might have with the African-American or Asian-American communities would be called into question.”
Mielke referred questions to the Fraternal Order of Police, which has not returned a call seeking comment. Her personnel file is thick with compliments and thank-yous for her work.
Mielke, who worked as a school resource and DARE officer, was placed on administrative leave in March. Her most recent base salary was $80,683.
Published by Columbus Dispatch.