Hoover Police Officer Shot by Facebook Photo of Targeted Protester

A Hoover police officer was fired Friday for a social media post earlier this week that showed a protester in the sights of a rifle scope.

The officer made the Facebook post Tuesday in response to an article posted about protesters at Georgia Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed.

The headline for that article was: “Armed protesters remain at Wendy’s, where they killed Rayshard Brooks. What’s next?” The article was accompanied by a photo of a black protester with a shotgun.

Vacuum cleaner officer fired

A Hoover police officer was fired after posting a photo of a black Georgia protester shown in the sights of a rifle. (Facebook)

In his response to the post, Officer Ryan Snow republished the photo of the protester to show him in the sights of a rifle sight. He wrote: “Exhale. Feeling. Pause. Press constantly. That is what follows.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said department officials were informed of the “disturbing” publication on Wednesday morning. “When I saw the post and the image, it made me sick,” Derzis said. “It certainly did not adhere to the standards expected of all officers wearing our uniform.”

Vacuum cleaner officer fired

A Hoover police officer was fired after posting a photo of a black Georgia protester shown in the sights of a rifle. (Facebook)

Snow, who had been in the Hoover force for 4 1/2 years, was questioned Wednesday afternoon and admitted that he was responsible for the post, the chief said. Later that afternoon, he was placed on administrative leave.

The officer had 48 hours to respond to the charges and did so on Friday afternoon. After hearing Snow’s response, Derzis made the decision to end Snow’s employment.

“This type of conduct will not be tolerated in our department and is not representative of the professional ism expected by all of our officers,” said Derzis.

“We are not going to allow an officer to tarnish the reputation of the Hoover Police Department.”

Activist Carlos Chaverst, president of the Birmingham Justice League, which organized protests at Hoover following the shooting death of Emantic “EJ” Bradford in 2018 by a Hoover officer, issued this statement following news of the firing of the Officer: “The Hoover Police Department shows time and again they disregard the lives of blacks. Their officers continue to show disrespect for the movement and for what we are protesting. We thank the Hoover Police for acting quickly, but firing an officer is not enough. The name of the departments has already been tarnished when there were no charges brought by an officer for killing “Emantic” Ej “Bradford Jr inside Riverchase Galleria on November 22, 2018. This officer now you can go to another department and do the exact same thing. Hoover should implement actual policy changes to ensure that this does not happen again. If they don’t, it is simply a bandage on a bullet wound. Hoover, keep punishing your officer for doing the wrong thing as you do to us, but this is a policy that does not shoot. “