WEST NEW YORK, New Jersey -- A New Jersey law enforcement officer has been stripped of his service weapon and placed on administrative leave with pay amid an investigation into an allegedly anti-Muslim Facebook post.
Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari directed his office to open the internal investigation and notified the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office as soon as he became aware of the comments posted by Sheriff's Officer Alex Pino on social media.
Pino deleted the expletive-laden rant, but the post quickly went viral and included Pino allegedly writing "(Expletive) the Kuran (expletive) the Muslims (expletive) the terrorist. Trump for president. (Expletive) on the mosques. Tear them all down. We sccomdate(sic) too many of those people here. Follow our kaws(sic) in place. Not change to accomedate(sic) them. Oh Mr Mohamed Alkawhateverthe(expletive) youre offended,?,? Good. Get out my country, my my mutha (expletive) country you (expletive)."
"Comments like these are in no way reflective of my views or the views of the Hudson County Sheriff's Office and they run contrary to our mission of making Hudson County safer for everyone," Sheriff Schillari said. "We are taking this matter very seriously and we are conducting a full investigation. It is absolutely unacceptable to me for any member of this department to disparage any race, religion or ethnic group no matter the forum or the medium. As officers of the law we must be held to a higher standard and I intend to do everything in my power to make sure that all residents of Hudson County know that the Sheriff's Office stands for professionalism and respect for our entire community above all else."
Schillari says he has a long record of close ties with the Muslim community in Hudson County and places tremendous value on building strong community relationships, and that he has opened a dialogue with Muslim leaders in the county to reassure them that the Hudson County Sheriff's Office is committed to protecting all Hudson County residents and to fostering an environment of inclusiveness and respect.
Pino, a disabled veteran who served in Iraq, spoke to NJ.com.
"We're entitled to our opinions, and I had mine," he said. "I'm tired of being bashed all the time. I'm in fear for my life...I have to protect my family, my children. I can't take them to a movie theater because I'm afraid about what's going to happen."
He also told the news site that he posted the comment in the heat of the moment and was remorseful.