Investigation underway over Washington police officers’ TikTok videos
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Three police officers in Washington state are under investigation over videos posted to their personal social media accounts, including one that criticized a protest about defunding police, a newspaper reported.
In the video posted to TikTok on June 26, an officer criticizes the protest while appearing to be in uniform, The News Tribune reported.
His badge was covered by emojis but the Tacoma Police Department confirmed that the officer works for the agency.
The officer noted the irony of police being asked for protection at a rally concerning a push to defund law enforcement.
The officer did not immediately respond to requests from the newspaper seeking comment.
Police spokesperson Wendy Haddow said the department is investigating the video and two others posted to TikTok by department officers.
The professional standards of the department say officers must not “address public gatherings, lecture, appear on radio or television, prepare articles for publication, act as correspondent to a newspaper or periodical, release or divulge investigative information, or any other matters of the department.”
Tacoma city manager Elizabeth Pauli said Wednesday that the officers were directed to stop using city equipment, uniforms or vehicles in personal communications.
Pauli said the chief of police will be issuing a memo on the use of social media by police.