Sheriff's office investigating deputy's Facebook posts making light of work
A Clackamas County sheriff's deputy is the center of a professional standards investigation for apparently posting pictures of his police work on his personal Facebook page and making light of it with his friends.
KATU News spoke with Kelly Zimmerman, who found the facebook posts and filed a complaint with the sheriff's office. The complaint prompted the internal investigation that is still underway.
Zimmerman found the posts after interacting with Deputy Robert Nashif during an October traffic stop. He feels Nashif was overly aggressive with him before giving him a ticket for having windows that were too dark. Zimmerman also wondered why the deputy was taking pictures with a cellphone. In response, Zimmerman researched the deputy and came across three facebook posts he feels are wrong. None of the posts discussed or pictured Zimmerman.
"I didn't think it was responsible or ethical what he was posting, and I honestly felt like these other people deserve to know. I wish I could contact them somehow," Zimmerman told KATU News.
A Facebook screen shot from 2013 shows a picture of a camouflage truck. Deputy Nashif appears to joke that the truck's color made it a target for the crash it was in. His Facebook friends comment with jokes as well.
In a 2012 post, it appears Deputy Nashif posted a picture of himself undercover as a homeless man and then comments about being on cellphone detail and writing a large number of violations.
In 2009, a picture shows a man and his motorcycle who appear to have been stopped for speeding, and Deputy Nashif comments, "Another one bites the dust."
"I was just shocked," said Chris Ponte of Oregon Cop Block, who wrote about Zimmerman's Facebook find. "We shouldn't be paying them to write us tickets and make fun of us on their personal pages."
Clackamas County sheriff's spokesman Robert Wurpes points out that the 2009 post was before the department had a social media policy. He also said social media use is still part of a 'gray area.'
Wurpes provided the social media policy (Word document) upon request. The policy reads in part that Clackamas County Sheriff's Office "employees need to be mindful of the nature of their work whenever speaking in public and/or utilizing social networking sites both on and off duty."
Zimmerman hopes the deputy gets disciplined.
"They're supposed to treat the public with dignity and respect and fairness," he said. "I believe he's not doing that in those pictures."
A man who says his truck was the one pictured in the 2013 post did not want to speak publicly but sent a message to KATU News reporter Erica Nochlin that he's upset and embarrassed.
"I just don't appreciate the fact that (the deputy) feels it necessary to make fun of my tragedy," the man wrote.