SALEM, Mass. (CBS) — Salem police placed a captain on administrative leave for an “unauthorized” tweet sent from the department’s Twitter account Monday that criticized the Boston protests over George Floyd’s death. The employee who sent the tweet, Captain Kate Stephens, oversees the department’s Professional Standards Division.

The tweet tagged Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, saying “so you issued a permit for 10 of thousands of people to protest but I can’t go to a restaurant? You are ridiculous. You and Too Tall Deval are killing this State.”

A Twitter user shared a screenshot of the tweet, which was quickly deleted.

“The posting of personnel commentary and opinions on the Department’s social media account is not only against our internal policies, it undermines the public trust and confidence that we, as a Police Department, have worked so hard to achieve here in Salem,” Chief Mary Butler said in a statement.  “It is even more concerning that these comments come from someone in a leadership position within the Department.”

There’s an ongoing investigation that will “include recommendations as to how to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future,” Butler said.

“These comments are uncalled for at any time, but they are particularly egregious at this time when the public is questioning the fairness, equity and legitimacy of the police and their actions,” she said.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said she was “appalled” by the tweet.

“This is completely inappropriate and does not represent the position or values of the City of Salem or the Salem Police Department,” Driscoll said.

Salem Police Capt. Kate Stephens. (Photo credit: Salem, Mass. Police)

Stephens will be subject to a hearing that will determine disciplinary action, Butler said.

Comments (7)
  1. 911WASanINSIDEjob420 says:

    SALEM was right!!!!

  2. Vincent Vega says:

    She has been sanctioned by the minister of double speak.

  3. RichD says:

    Love her message…unfortunately, wrong platform. Mayor Driscoll was appalled. Wish we could have heard the same from Mayor Walsh about the looting, burning and assaults on police officers.

  4. Sensible Response says:

    1. Since the quarantine has started, no one ever restricted getting food from restaurants, you could always order take away. So her argument doesn’t hold water if it’s about eating food from restaurants. That implies her main concern is that she can’t physically go to the location of a restaurant and stay there with a crowd of other people for an extended period.

    2. MA is now in a phased plan for re-opening. During this time, you are allowed to go to restaurants and eat outside. Why then, is she conflating policies used in the height of the covid pandemic to policies used now, during the phased re-opening? That’s just cherry-picking and is a poor argument. Her argument that she can’t go to a restaurant kind of falls flat.

    3. In what world is your unalienable and constitutional right to protest (especially against something so important) equal to your “right to go to a restaurant”? How are those two things equivalent? Why would anyone ever consider those two things of equal weight and say, “If I can do one, I should be able to do the other”.

    4. Willingly choosing to go to a protest puts yourself and the other (willing) participants of the protest at risk for contracting COVID. Admittedly it’s not a great thing so many protestors are in close proximity, but (a) they’re all there willingly, knowing the risks, and (b) in most shots I’ve seen most protestors are wearing masks (granted that may also have to do with the unjust tear gas canisters launched at them). Going to a restaurant is a different beast because the staff working there may not be willing (most likely they’d be there to pay their rent, lest they be evicted). In the restaurant scenario you’re forcing someone to put themselves in mortal danger for your personal convenience, something that is not true in the protest scenario. One could argue the protests force police to show up and put themselves in danger, but in that case, they are not in close confines like a restaurant, they’re out in the open air. It’s not great for either scenario, but the point remains that the two scenarios are not equivalent and going to a restaurant during a pandemic is clearly a reckless act that puts other lives in unnecessary danger.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Adults should really learn how twitter works lol..

  6. DLee Becker says:

    Kate is absolutely right I’ve blasted the so-called leaders for not shutting down airports tht are in a city over fr: the state house. Are we suppose to play dumb. If I wrkd for them I guess I wouldn’t hv done wht she did or tried a different approach. It hs to be frustrating working & w/out a restaraunt to go to but ish’t there take-out. She still mks perfect sense.

  7. DLee Becker says:

    Wht’s actually worse? her comments or the neglect of health that I feel these so-called leaders are responsible for. A deadly mess putting it lightly. People losing their elderly! Shame on boston, ny, r.isl the entire eastern border for nt protecting THE PEOPLE! Kate has freedom expression so she used her ammendment. Tht’s not illegal but these deaths are. Everyone tucked in our homes is illegal too. weigh all that in scales of balance!

Leave a Reply