After valiantly labeling Black Lives Matter protestors as “terrorists,” a New Jersey police officer lost her job. Her attorney slammed the move as the ‘far-left retaliation.’
The officer from Hopewell Township, identified as Sara Erwin, shared her bold opinion on Facebook in June last year, telling the story of how her children did not want her to go to work following the burst of threats targeting the police force when the early news of George Floyd’s death came public.
“Last night as I left for work I had my two kids crying for me not to go to work. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way I did last night,” the post began.
“And then I watched people I know and others I care about going into harm’s way,” Erwin expressed her concerns over her colleagues’ well-being after a series of fierce protests erupted in honor of the deceased Floyd.
“Just to let you know—they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don’t care if I die,” she continued.
According to the New York Post, six township staff—five of them from the police department, responded in consensus with Erwin’s post and were put on leave soon after.
The Post reports that Hopewell Township Police Chief Lance Maloney, who has since retired, declined to identify the employees at the time, but a source identified them as Grey, Detective Mark Panzano, Officers Erwin and John Ferner, dispatcher Gregory Peck and public works truck driver Steve Harbat.
Erwin’s suspension, meanwhile, resulted from an anonymous vote of the town committee, which also decided to demote and suspend officer Sgt. Mandy Grey for the comment that supported her view, their lawyer Frank Crivelli said on May 4.
The attorney called the committee’s move an act of “pandering to the far left.” As of Grey’s fate, Crivelli said, “the fact that she supported her position as a fellow officer, that was the reason that they actually suspended her.”
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Officer has inspected Erwin’s post, but no charges were laid. The township took over the case and gave out the penalty last Friday, April 30.
Crivelli added that an appeal to the Superior Court had been filed on behalf of Grey and Erwin, arguing that the committee’s decision violated their First Amendment rights. The attorney said that Erwin wishes to remain in her position, whereas Grey asks for her rank to be reinstated and her six-month suspension to be lifted.
In a statement to the Post on Tuesday, Police Director Robert Karmazin, head of the area’s police department, wrote: “As the matter is in active litigation, the Hopewell Township Committee, the Hopewell Township Police Department and the Hopewell Township staff will have no further comment at this time.”