(USA TODAY) -- The New Orleans Police Department has suspended a police officer, who was involved in the recent fatal shooting of a young black man, for commenting on an online news story that Trayvon Martin deserved to die because he acted "like a thug," the Times-Picayune reports.
Jason Giroir identified himself as a New Orleans police officer when he posted the comment on Sunday below a story on the WWL-TV website about a local rally in support of Trayvon, the 17-year-old Florida boy who was killed by a neighborhood watch captain.
Giroir's comment: "Act like a Thug Die Like one!"
Here's how the Times-Picayune describes a further exchange in the comments section:
...(A)fter a commenter named Eddie Johnson criticized Giroir's initial comments as racist and questioned whether a hooded sweatshirt makes someone a thug, Giroir responded: "Eddie come on down to our town with a 'Hoodie' and you can join Martin in HELL and talk about your racist stories!" He ended the sentence with an emoticon that depicts a tongue wagging.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas tells reporters that Giroir has been indefinitely suspended without pay.
"To say I'm angry is an understatement. I'm furious," Serpas says, according to the newspaper.
Giroir's lawyer, Eric Hessler, says the officer admitted to writing the post, but he didn't mean it as a racial or offensive: "It was a boneheaded comment. He admits so."
Giroir, 35, was recently cleared and reassigned to regular duty following an investigation of his role in a fatal shootout earlier this month in the Mid-City area of New Orleans, Hessler says, according to the newspaper.
The Times-Picayune notes that the NOPD has not suggested that the shooting was unjustified.
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