Photo of Palm Beach County, Fla., Sheriff's Deputy Jason Van Dusen

Racist Tweet Against Michelle Obama, Vile Facebook Posts Get Cop Fired

When Michelle Obama was in the White House as the first Black first lady of the United States, Palm Beach County, Fla., Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Van Dusen used social media to compare her to an ape. In a tweet the following year, Van Dusen posted a meme of a white man smiling with the caption: “Laughs in White Privilege.”

Van Dusen’s white privilege kept him in his job despite using social media to make vile, racist posts for at least five years while on duty. He was fired from his position on Friday when an investigation proved his posts, many taking pride in excessive use of force, date back to 2013, according to The Palm Beach Post.

Using a Twitter account with the handle @angrythrashdude, which has since been deleted, Van Dusen sent a tweet in 2015 displaying a photo of Obama next to one depicting a character from the film “Planet of the Apes.”

On Dec. 2 of the same year, “the day 14 people were shot to death in San Bernardino, Calif. — Van Dusen wrote that the U.S. has a ‘Muslim problem’ and not ‘a gun problem,'” The Post reports.

In another tweet, he quoted a post made by a Black Twitter user that read “Reminder – If I die in Police Custody, I did not kill myself.” Van Dusen retweeted with the caption, “and a new contender arises!!”

Van Dusen’s most recent suspension, with pay, was March 1 after the agency’s internal affairs unit began an investigation.

Everett Stern, founder and intelligence director of a national investigative firm, wrote a letter to Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw on Feb. 1 and included screenshots of posts by Van Dusen.

“To be frank, we have never heard of a law enforcement officer post such an extreme level of racist remarks against African Americans, Muslims, Jews, and Women,” Stern wrote.

He also wrote that “the most concerning of Deputy Jason Van Dusen’s statements are regarding law enforcement procedures and the use of excessive force.”

In a Facebook post from August 2013, he stated, “The Taser is like a time out for adults.”

In a November 2013 post, he’s pictured smoking a cigar with the caption: “Taking a break after two shootings tonight.”

The same year, he also made a post about the death of Trayvon Martin:

“The head of the Florida NAACP has written a letter to the governor with the following quote about the Zimmerman trial, ‘This verdict has cause families to ask the question — ‘What should I tell my child in order to keep them safe and alive in Florida’ How about ‘Don’t attack someone that believes in the Second Amendment a**hole.'”

Van Dusen was suspended for only two days in 2014 because of his social media use.

Stern alleges that Van Dusen made the posts while on duty and at least 10 other deputies who engaged with him on social media. Stern wants an investigation into civil rights violations and possible obstruction of justice, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

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