A small group held signs Tuesday outside Omaha’s Central Police Headquarters calling for the firing of an officer because of inflammatory posts on his Facebook page.
About 20 demonstrators from a group called For The People said Officer Bryan Kulhanek should be fired because of content that they said showed antipathy toward minorities.
“We feel this diminishes how much people can trust the police department,” D’Shawn Cunningham, founder of For the People, told reporters Tuesday.
In one post, Kulhanek called Black Lives Matter an “anti white police group. They are racist plain and simple. Thousands of blacks are killed by other blacks. Innocent black children are killed in the crossfire. Black police officers murdered. And they are completely silent.”
That post, and others that were attributed to him and were more inflammatory but could not be verified, prompted a social media campaign to have him fired.
Demonstrators Tuesday also said Kulhanek mocked a citizen’s complaint against him.
The posts have since been taken down or blocked.
Kulhanek was placed on paid administrative leave Monday pending an internal investigation. The department said Kulhanek, an officer since 1998, had posted “potentially inappropriate content.”
The city’s social media policy says employees “are free to express themselves as private citizens on social media sites to the degree that their speech does not impair working relationships or activities of the City ... or negatively affect the public perception of the City of Omaha and/or their respective City Department.”
A “Support Omaha Officer Bryan Kulhanek” Facebook page had been liked by more than 350 people Thursday.
Members of For The People said Tuesday that Kulhanek has a right to his opinions, but they said his posts hurt police/community relations.
“This doesn’t help his fellow police officers, making these statements,” Cunningham said.
Before the protest, some officers stopped and offered to fetch demonstrators water or answer any questions.