NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans police officer commenting on WWLTV.com about a unarmed Florida teen who was shot dead in Florida has infuriated and embarrassed Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
Officer Jason Giroir, a member of the New Orleans Police Department for 13 years already under investigation for a shooting that left one man dead and two officers injured after he made a traffic stop, has now made online comments that caused Serpas to suspend him without pay.
“To say that I’m angry is an understatement,” Serpas said. “I’m furious.”
Giroir was commenting over the weekend on WWLTV.com about the unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, who was gunned down by a neighborhood night watchman.
Giroir's wrote: "Act like a Thug. Die like one."
"Included in those comments was that he was a member of the NOPD, which have caused me great concern concerning his fitness for duty,” Serpas said. “I have suspended Officer Giroir immediately and without pay, indefinitely.”
Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement "wholeheartedly" supporting Serpas' action against Giroir, and adding, "The people of New Orleans and my administration will not tolerate this reckless and offensive behavior. I condemn his statements in the strongest of terms."
And it turns out Giroir has gotten in trouble before.
In 2006 the wife of NOPD Officer Desmond Pratt filed a brutality complaint against Giroir.
“His wife is followed by Jason Giroir -- thrown down, mishandled, abused -- and he gets away with it,” said defense attorney Jason Williams.
At the time, the NOPD said Pratt was speeding and ran a red light, and Giroir followed her to her nearby home in a late night traffic stop.
Giroir's current attorney, Eric Hessler, said Giroir was "administratively cleared of wrongdoing."
“The administrative system cleared him,” Williams said. “The criminal justice system never took a look at him ... The police department never arrested him. They never charged him with anything.”
As for this latest episode of online comments, Giroir's attorney said, "It was just a boneheaded comment made by him. He probably should be punished for it. He probably should have thought before he began typing.”
Serpas said he has embarrassed the police force.
“The New Orleans Police Department specifically condemns these comments, and comments like this won't be tolerated,” Serpas said.
The NOPD's policy on the internet says no employee should post anything that is illegal, or anything that embarrasses, humiliates, discredits, or harms the operation and reputation of the police department.