By Bill Shields

MEDFORD, Mass. (CBS) — The Medford Police officer who has been placed on leave after making a controversial social media post is speaking out.

His message: “I’m sorry.”

Jason Montalbano has been a Medford Police officer for 18 years with a spotless record.

But then Officer Montalbano posted a poster on his personal Facebook page saying, in effect, that Muslims should be nuked to bring about peace.

“When I first saw the post on another site, I took it as targeting ISIS,” Montalbano said Wednesday.

“In retrospect, I understand that the reference to Islam was inappropriately over-broad, and offensive to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I did not intend to demean Islam or Muslims in general.”

Those who know Officer Montalbano personally say his actions were out of character. They were adamant that he has no biases and is the first to help anyone.

“Officer Montalbano is the first one to put his hand up to take a vacation day to spend a day working those events to help raise money for charity,” says Harry MacGilvray of the Medford Police Patrolman Association.

The officer’s attorney says this is all just a simple misunderstanding.

“If you look at his record with the city of Medford Police Department,” Attorney Alan McDonald said, “you will find no evidence whatsoever of any hostility or discrimination against Muslims or any other religious or ethnic group.”

Montalbano is on leave while administrators try to determine if he violated department policy.

Bill Shields

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