Police department fires recruit over Facebook post from high school

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WFLA) — A police recruit in Arkansas says she was fired over song lyrics she posted on Facebook when she was a teenager.

According to attorneys, 25-year-old Katina Jones was fired by the Little Rock Police Department after they found out she posted Lil Wayne lyrics to Facebook when she was 16. Her attorney tells our sister station KARK that the lyrics included a racial slur that is offensive to black people. Jones is black.

“They said ‘well you didn’t clear everything out and you had that offensive word. You’re fired,’” said attorney Robert Newcomb. “Do we judge the chief and others by the type of music they listen to?”

Jones is now the department’s third recent hire within two months to be fired over social media.

Newcomb is also an attorney for Brandon Schiefelbein. KARK reports that he was fired after an internal investigation into a 2013 Facebook post that included a picture of a colleague and a racial slur. Schiefelbein is white.

The third recruit, one who raised concerns about the post, was the third person fired by the department. They say Brandon Gurley violated multiple policies including lying and inappropriate social media posts.

According to Newcomb, Gurley is also the person who reported Jones.

“She made her account private and Mr. Gurley admitted he had a friend that knew how to break into it,” Newcomb said. “That’s how he got it and sent it to the police department.”

The attorney is now investigating whether the department broke any laws. He is also asking city board members and managers to look into it.