A Pennsylvania police chief was forced to resign after his wife posted pro-Trump content on social networks, according to the former president of the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
Jarrad Berkihiser will retire on Oct. 31 after serving 26 years at the Lancaster Police Office, and the last two years as chief.
According to former FOP President John Fiorill, Berkihiser announced his retirement after Lancaster Democratic Mayor Danene Sorace was aggrieved by a post from the chief’s wife announcing her intention to vote for Trump on Nov. 3.
According to Fiorill, it was the response to a Facebook post by the boss’s wife, Kristy Lynne, that led to Berkihiser’s controversial departure.
Lynne responded to a post from a user who was at a Trump rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“Why I’m voting for him again. Same reason as last time… you don’t see him meeting with Jacob Blake’s family and speaking to him by phone…” said Berkihiser’s wife.
Lynne was referring to a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, involving police officers.
Jacob Blake was facing charges for sexually assaulting the mother of his children in May when he violated the order of protection on Aug. 23 and went home to Kenosha.
The woman called 911 and said that Blake should not have been there and that he had taken her car keys.
When the police arrived, Blake resisted arrest and fought with the officers.
A Kenosha police officer shot him after he ignored police orders and reached into his vehicle.
Investigators later said that Blake was in possession of a knife.
Vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) met with Blake’s family on Sept. 7 and told them she was “proud of him” even though he was accused of raping a woman in front of her children.
Mayor asks for police chief’s resignation
Fiorill told WHTM that those Facebook comments from the police chief’s wife were all it took for Sorace to ask for his resignation.
“This was an unjust situation that he was placed in, a clear violation of his rights,” Fiorill said. “He was advised by the mayor that she wanted his resignation, based on those statements made on Facebook, not by Chief Berkihiser, but by Chief Berkihiser’s wife,” he added.
Fiorill explained that Chief Berkihiser went directly to the FOP for legal advice.
“He retired under his conditions, not the conditions of the mayor, not a termination. That’s exactly what he wanted to avoid and he wanted to avoid that turmoil,” he said.
When asked about the issue, Sorace said he could not talk about it because he had a confidentiality agreement with Chief Berkihiser.
Meanwhile, a Change.org petition to reinstate Berkihiser has already gathered more than 15,000 signatures.