KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Kissimmee Police Department released records Friday showing the chronology of events that led to the firing of an officer who was found to have made numerous questionable posts to social media.
What You Need To Know
- On January 12, a concerned citizen reported questionable Facebook posts by KPD Officer Andrew Johnson
- That same day, he was placed on paid administrative leave
- Two days later, Johnson was fired from the department
The officer, Andrew Johnson, was fired on January 14, two days after a concerned citizen alerted KPD leadership about the social media posts — which ranged from mocking the Black Lives Matter movement to warning of a revolutionary war as the January 6 U.S. Capitol riots were ongoing.
On December 17, Johnson posted a photo of then-President Donald Trump emblazoned with the phrase "Justice is Coming." In the caption to the post, he warned of World War III and claimed that "China has deployed troops to Canada."
In a January 6 post, made as a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, Johnson said: "The silent majority will rise!! Day one of the Revolutionary War!! Hang on, it's only just begun."
He followed that post with a comment that said, "It's not over, Biden won't be president, sorry to upset ya!!"
On August 27, he reposted a picture of a handicapped parking spot with the caption, "BLM activists in Wisconsin paint a street mural in support of Jacob Blake."
Blake was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in the back during an August 23 encounter with police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
And on September 1, in response to a story on lawenforcementtoday.com, Johnson wrote, "This is some bulls--- (emojis). Civil War is right around the corner. It's coming, prepare for it now."
On January 12, a concerned citizen contacted KPD and forwarded screen shots of those and others.
"Within the email, the sender provided thirty (30) screen shot pictures of Facebook posts that were uploaded to a Facebook account identified as 'Drew Johnson,'" a KPD Internal Affairs memorandum said. "Within the body of the email, the individual wrote that the Officer 'is a very big problem' and 'is incapable of doing his job without bias which as we know is a massive problem for police in this country.'"
The Internal Affairs Unit was able to link the posts to Johnson that same day.
"The behavior and consistency within the posts/conversations I located was highly indicative of the Facebook profile being authentic as well as supported the claim that Officer Andrew Johnson was the true author of the Facebook posts," the memorandum said. "It should also be noted that the Facebook ID for Officer Andrew Johnson's Facebook page presented itself as being unique, only to him."
Afraid of retaliation, the citizen asked to remain anonymous.
Within nine hours of receiving the complaint, Johnson had been relieved of duty and placed on paid administrative leave.
Two days later, KPD Chief Jeffrey O'Dell made the decision to fire Johnson.
Because he was still on probation with the department, Johnson was not able to appeal his termination.