Mike Halstead, a 35-year veteran of law enforcement, has retired from his role as chief of police for Surf City, North Carolina, less than two weeks after calling the Black Lives Matter movement “an American-born terrorist group.”
The police chief announced his retirement on Tuesday afternoon during an emergency town meeting held to discuss personnel concerns in the wake of an open letter published on Facebook earlier this month by Mr. Halstead, a white cop who held the town’s top cop post for the past 13 years.
In his 662-word social media diatribe, Mr. Halstead said that the Black Lives Matter movement was “nothing more than an American born terrorist group brought on by the lie of the hands up don’t shoot during the criminal thug Michael Brown incident.” He claimed that BLM activists have been calling for “the murders of a race of people and a group of public servants,” and said he’s instructed his officers to “be vigilant” and take appropriate action when necessary.
“If that means shoot a thug, then do it and answer for it while you are still alive not dead,” he wrote from his personal Facebook account. The Sept. 3 post has since disappeared from his page, but archived versions indicate Mr. Halstead also blamed the Obama administration and civil rights leader Al Sharpton, among others, for creating a “race problem” in America.
The NAACP and other civil rights groups were expected to meet this week to discuss taking action against Mr. Halstead, but the police chief abruptly announced his own retirement on Tuesday afternoon during an emergency meeting.
Town officials promptly accepted the chief’s resignation and agreed to give him 60 days severance. Local media reported that he had originally planned to retire later this year.
In a statement afterwards, Mr. Halstead said he was “thrown under the bus” for expressing his First Amendment rights and said he had never intended to offend anyone.
Town Manager Larry Bergman told reporters that the Facebook post was in reference to the recent slaying of a law enforcement officer in Texas, and that Mr. Halstead “felt pretty passionate about it.” Mr. Bergman said previously that Surf City lacked any rules governing social media usage for employees, but on Tuesday he said that Mr. Halstead’s posting had violated a policy concerning how the chief is supposed to present himself.
Maj. Ron Shanahan will serve as the cop’s interim replacement, according to local reports. Meanwhile, supporters of Mr. Halstead stood outside the Surf City Police Department building on Wednesday morning to rally for the former chief.
“I was appalled to be honest with you,” local business owner Dorothy Royal said of Mr. Halstead’s ousting, local network WWAY reported. “This whole thing has happened so quick that nobody, none of the citizens had time to grasp what was going on.”
“I think he was venting frustrations and that’s the problem we have today,” Ms. Royal said. ” Nobody is hearing the law enforcement side.”
“If it had to do with something that the NAACP was getting involved and they were doing this to prevent any further problems, that’s not OK,” Ms. Royal said. “He deserved his right to explain. He deserved his right to talk to the people of this town.”
Surf City is situated on the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Wilmington and boasted a population of less than 2,000 as of the 2010 Census Bureau report. The Black Lives Matter movement came to light following the death of Trayvon Martin in 2013 and gained momentum last year after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot by a white cop in Ferguson, Missouri.
Here is a copy of his post:
Open letter from a Police Chief ,
this Black Lives Matter group is nothing more than an American born terrorist group brought on by the lie of the hands up don’t shoot during the criminal thug Michael Brown incident. The FBI and other Government Law Enforcement groups need to step up and put a stop to this. The Government and blacks would not tolerate the White Supremacist group to march through the streets and call for the murders of a race of people and a group of public servants. I agree there is a race problem in this country. It is not brought on by police officer doing their sworn duty, it is brought on by the government, the President and his cronies Al Sharpton, who is a criminal tax evader (but has the support of our so called President), Jessi Jackson, Eric Holder and that ignorant S.O.B. Farrakhan who should be charged with solicitation for murder, lord knows a white man would be arrested for the same actions of idiot Farakhan. I am sure there are many hard working Black people who will agree with me.
I have been a Police Officer for 35 years. I do not judge anyone by the color of their skin, but by their actions. A criminal is a criminal whether a police officer or any other profession. I will not state statistics because black lives matter do not care or believe proven statistics. I put allot of the blame for these cop murders on the media and the way they report police related shootings. There is no need to list or even state the race of a person shot by the police. It is more important to wait for the facts and report those. But and a big but that does not make money for these greedy media ass holes. When a black thug is killed by the police they are all over it as is Mr. Barack Obama. However when a police officer white, black or any race is murdered for doing his job the media is short with its reporting or not at all. When a white person is killed by a black officer you hear nothing. Has our so called President spoke publicly about these murders of police officers by blacks, HELL NO he has not. Step up Mr. President, or step down because we do not need you. Has our Attorney General spoke against these murders, no of course not because she was appointed by Barack Obama. Now let me say this, and this is not a threat but common knowledge.
I have instructed my officers to be vigilant, if threatened take appropriate action. If that means shoot a thug, then do it and answer for it while you are still alive not dead. Law Enforcement is fed up with this murderous society who want to take out those who protect and serve. Imagine if all law enforcement shut down for just 1 day. There would be murders, rapes, robberies, you name it. America wake up, all of you black, white, Mexican whatever you need the police, we do not need you. End this Black Lives Matter bull shit and start a movement that all lives matter. As for the New Black Panther movement who wants to kill whites and cops, go for it, we are ready for you. You take one of us and there will be 100 who will step up and end you. This letter is not meant to offend anyone, just the feelings of a man who has spent the last 35 years of his life serving and protecting, for what so a thug can take it or to be treated as a criminal by the very people I swore to protect. Let’s get this around folks so maybe our President and the media will get a wakeup call. Be safe all of my Brothers and Sisters in blue, not white, black, yellow or brown BLUE.
I feel a very honest post, And there is no hate talk just heartfelt honesty. But it does not fit in the agenda of so many people wanting something for nothing. He was going to retire anyway, so not a big deal I guess, But I again say Facebook is not your friend when it comes to your career and wanting to talk honestly.
Especially Guvment workers.