Honolulu officer under fire for anti-Black Lives Matter social media post

Honolulu officer under fire for anti-Black Lives Matter social media post 10pm update
Officer Vincent Tripi (image: Vincent Tripi/Facebook)
Officer Vincent Tripi (image: Vincent Tripi/Facebook)
(Image: Facebook/Explicit content edited by Hawaii News Now )
(Image: Facebook/Explicit content edited by Hawaii News Now )

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu police officer is under investigation for a Facebook post that appears to threaten Black Lives Matter members.

In the post, officer Vincent Tripi writes, "(expletive) BlackLivesMatter. Unfriend me PLEASE if you're offended. I'm locked and loaded 24/7. Come!"

Tripi has since deleted the post and taken down his Facebook page, but a screenshot of his post continues to circulate.

An HPD spokeswoman said that Tripi is a solo bike officer, and has been assigned to desk duty while an investigation is ongoing.

The post comes in the wake of police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and shootings of black men in several mainland cities.

Members of Hawaii's black community said Tripi's post was insensitive and threatening.

"When I read this, I was terribly disappointed and hurt. I fear for my son, for my grandsons, and my great-grandson. I do want him removed," said Marsha Rose Joyner, past president of the Hawaii Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition.

"I was annoyed, disappointed, and afraid really," Joyner said.

Tripi has been with the Honolulu Police Department for 10 years. Up until Tuesday, he was assigned to the department's Traffic Division.

Criminal defense attorney Victor Bakke said Tripi's statements are "very high powered," especially given "today's climate."

"He does have to be very careful. Some of those things could be construed as threats, which could land him criminal trouble," Bakke said.

The post appears to have been written after five police officers were shot and killed during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas earlier this month.

Since then, other officers around the nation have been demoted and fired for inflammatory Facebook posts.

In Detroit, a detective was demoted for his controversial Facebook post that called Black Lives Matter supporters "racists and terrorists." In Kansas, a police officer was fired after posting a threatening message on Facebook of a mother's picture of her daughter writing, "We'll see how much her life matters soon."

Joyner said Tripi should be removed from the department before something terrible happens.

"With the kind of hatred that he is expressing, it is more than just his words. It's in his soul. He expressed his soul and that is what is scary," she said.

HPD said the investigation will focus on whether there were violations of the department's social media policy and the department's bias-based profiling policy.

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