Missouri police chief reinstated after inflammatory posts

Associated Press
The Rolla Daily News

AUXVASSE — A rural Missouri police chief who was placed on administrative leave for inflammatory Facebook posts was reinstated within 24 hours.

Alderman in Auxvasse voted Thursday to place Chief Kevin Suedmeyer on leave pending an investigation into the posts. Aldermen met on Friday and voted to reinstate Suedmeyer after he received a verbal warning.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported details of the investigation, including who conducted it, were not released as of Monday. The alderman voted to close executive records about Friday's meeting.

One of Suedmeyer's posts read "Corona virus coming to rioters everywhere Darwin — work your magic Time to ramp up the funeral industry." Another post said he would run over anyone who stood in the street to stop traffic to "cleanup the gene pool."

Sara Baker, ACLU of Missouri's policy director, said a police chief sets the tone for the entire department and must protect all citizens' right to assemble. 

"The posts of the Auxvasse police chief are a fitting example of why so many Americans have taken to the streets in support of demanding law enforcement confront its history of discriminatory practices against the black and brown citizens they are sworn to protect," Baker said.

Auxvasse is about 35 miles northeast of Jefferson City.