A police chief in northwestern Iowa apologized Tuesday and said that his Facebook comment that appeared to refer to Black Lives Matter protesters as “road bumps” was a “horrible mistake” and a “total accident.”
Sioux Rapids Police Chief Tim Porter commented beneath KCCI’s Facebook post over the weekend about a man captured on video driving through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Des Moines.
“HIT THE GAS AND HANG ON OVER THE ROAD BUMPS,” Porter wrote beneath the station’s post, according to screenshots of the since-deleted thread reposted on social media.
“I was on another post working and somehow it accidentally was posted on the wrong post. I just want to publicly apologize for my horrible mistake, my posting was a total accident,” the chief said in a statement to KCCI Tuesday. “I don't want to offend anyone. I'm all for peaceful protest, bad cops getting removed. People that know me, know I would never encourage anyone to run over any protester or anyone. I'm for change like everyone. I feel horrible for my mistake. I'm sorry for all the confusion."
It appears Porter has since deleted his entire Facebook account. His initial comment received dozens of responses, including one accusing Porter of advocating for vehicular manslaughter, and another calling him a “great police chief” entitled to his own opinions, according to the Des Moines Register.
Other social media users who shared screenshots of Porter’s comment encouraged people to call elected officials in Sioux Rapids, a small town in northwest Iowa, to report him. In a statement to the Register on Tuesday, Sioux Rapids Mayor Jim Wise and the City Council said the incident remained under investigation, and "any and all disciplinary action deemed necessary" would be considered.
The man behind the wheel of the truck in the video, later identified as Jeff Boucher, was fired from his job at Wyckoff Comfort, the heating and air conditioning company tweeted Tuesday.
Cell phone video shared with the KCCI showed protesters standing in the road blocking the black truck before its driver presses forward with the crowd continuing to push against the vehicle. No injuries were reported in the incident.