NEW ORLEANS - The NOPD officer who made disparaging remarks about the Trayvon Martin case and 'hoodie' outfits in the comments section on the WWLTV.com web site resigned from the force after being told a pre-termination hearing was to be conducted on his actions, according to the NOPD.
Jason Giroir resigned one day after he was suspended without pay Monday after admitting he made the comments and shortly after Public Integrity Bureau Chief Arlinda Westbrook notified him that allegations of misconduct against him had been sustained.
"From the moment I was informed yesterday afternoon that Jason Giroir admitted to PIB investigators that he did write the offensive comments on the news station’s website, I immediately questioned his abilities to continue as a New Orleans police officer," said Serpas. "My responsibility to the people of New Orleans, as well as to the professional officers on this police force, demanded I take swift action in this matter. I have accepted Giroir’s resignation, and believe it is in the best interest of this department and this city”.
Giroir's comments came under a WWLTV.com story about local reaction to the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida at the hands of a neighborhood watchman sparked several incendiary comments – including remarks from a Facebook commenter who is named Jason Giroir.
“Act like a Thug Die like one!” says the comment under name Jason Giroir. The comment refers to the controversy surrounding the hooded sweatshirt Martin was reportedly wearing when he was gunned down. Activists across the nation have taken to wearing hoodies as a sign of solidarity with Martin’s family and against racial profiling.
Jason Giroir’s “thug” comment sparked a strong reaction from another commenter, Eddie Johnson, in the story. Johnson tells Giroir: “How the hell you know how he acted? That boy went to school, talked to his girl friend and it was raining so he had his hood over his head... OH YEA He's Black so he's automatically a Thug huh? Low down racist always show their true colors.”
Several hours later, Giroir responded to Johnson: “Eddie come on down to our town with a ‘Hoodie’ and you can join Martin in HELL and talk about your racist stories!:-P”
Giroir’s Facebook profile says that he is from Chalmette, went to Chalmette High School and lives in Covington.
Giroir's comments and his admission made him the subject of a probe by the Public Integrity Bureau after a person who identifies himself as an NOPD employee by that name made online comments about the killing of Trayvon Martin.
"A little over two hours ago I learned about internet comments attributed to Officer Jason Giroir, including in those comments was that he was a member of the NOPD, which have caused me great concern concerning his fitness for duty," said Superintendent Ronal Serpas Monday afternoon.
Giroir was suspended indefinitely and without pay at the time, according to Superintendent Serpas, who added that he asked Chief Arlinda Westbrook of the Public Integrity Bureau to conduct an internal investigation.
Serpas said he was "furious" about the allegations and he said that Giroir has embarrassed the police department. He called the comments "hurtful" and "insensitive."
The NOPD has a policy on Internet posts, adopted several years ago, which states:
“Employees shall not post any material on the Internet -- including but not limited to photos, videos, word documents etc. -- that violates any local, state or federal law and/or embarrasses , humiliates, discredits, or harms the operation and reputation of the police department or any of its members.”