The San Diego Police Department is conducting an internal investigation into a social media posting in which an officer urged his colleagues to refuse any orders to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to wear protective masks, a department spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
The city law enforcement agency “is reviewing this as a personnel matter to determine if the officer violated department policy,” according to a statement issued by SDPD public affairs Lt. Adam Sharki.
“SDPD holds its members to the highest standards,” the statement asserts. “Any department member found to be in violation of SDPD’s policies or procedures will be held accountable. SDPD strongly encourages all of its members to get vaccinated and continues to make COVID-19 vaccine readily available.”
Sharki did not specify how the posting might potentially breach any departmental rules pertaining to personnel conduct.
The statements by the officer, whose name has not been released, were posted recently in an online forum for members of the San Diego Police Officers Association, a screenshot released by the NAACP’s San Diego office shows.
“Myself and another God fearing Patriot on this Department are building up a coalition of Cops who will stand up for our God given freedoms and are willing to risk it all,” the officer’s posting states. “From this point forward we will never take the vaccine, be tested or wear another face diaper around our heads without our free will to make that choice.”
The author of the statements called the issue “the hill to die on, because I promise you if ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ lose this fight there won’t be another hill to fight on.”
The lawman, who identified himself as a 16-year member of the SDPD, added that like-minded members of the department “have to be willing to get fired from this job to secure your rights and stand by your convictions.”
“Our coalition is growing by the day and if the Department and City are willing to fire 100-500 cops then so be it,” the post continues. “For those who have taken the vaccine, been tested or choose to wear the mask, I support you 100% as you used your free will to make those decisions. Now I ask you to stand with your colleagues (and support their) free will as well.”
In frequently cryptic wording interspersed with biblical references, the posting makes reference to an unnamed “sinister agenda at hand that is plaguing the country and the world.”
“Some of you are wide awake and understand what I am getting at, some are just now or have been waking up this past year, and sadly some of you are still sound asleep,” it states. “I am not going to get into the real science that shows that the vaccines are harmful and even deadly, the testing process is inaccurate and harmful, and the masks are harmful to health (and) psyche, and are demoralizing.”
The rambling commentary also criticizes California as “the worst state in the country” and asserts that “the USA has never truly been invaded on a larger scale because of our Second Amendment rights.”
“Therefore we have been infiltrated, and sadly this was long ago, and now we are seeing it play out before our eyes,” the officer stated, without explanation.
The post ends with an acronym, WWG1WGA, which stands for “Where We Go One, We Go All.” The slogan often is used in communications by adherents of the QAnon conspiracy-theory group.
In a letter to Mayor Todd Gloria, NAACP San Diego President Francine Maxwell said she and her membership were “gravely concerned” about the officer’s statements.
“This post mentions 2nd Amendment rights (and) alleges there would be support of hundreds of officers in resisting the lawful government of our city and state,” Maxwell wrote. “In the strongest possible terms, the NAACP San Diego branch condemns all types of rhetoric from public officials that might inspire insurrections or threatens public safety.”
“The NAACP San Diego branch demands an immediate investigation by (the mayor’s) office into the extent to which ideas like these have penetrated our police force, and we demand immediate plans to control and limit the spread,” Maxwell continued. “We will be calling on the FBI San Diego field office to open its own investigation into the matter.”
Updated at 4:46 p.m. August 17, 2021