UPDATE: The officer that made the post has been on paid administrative leave and will return to work on Thursday, January 14.
Based on the Bentonville Police internal review, the statement was posted by the employee during the early stages of the event and he was unaware of the violence and chaos that was beginning to transpire.
During the review, the police officer provided the following statement.
I have been made aware that concerns were brought forward about a post I made on Facebook. I regret that the post I made did not correctly state my true feelings. I failed to consider that my post, made from a distance and without great thought, might result in people in my own community misunderstanding me as well as the way it might reflect on the police department.
I have been a law enforcement officer for more than 16 years. In becoming a law enforcement
officer, I took an oath to support the Constitution. I supported the Constitution then, always have, and do now. Part of that Constitution includes the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government and I do think citizens have the right to peaceably do those things.
That being said, the rights to assemble and petition do not extend to violence or other violations of the law, which I do not support or condone. I am particularly regretful about people’s perception of my post, as what occurred in Washington included attacks on brother and sister law enforcement officers, some of whom were injured, and at least one of whom died.
I take responsibility for the social media post in question and recognize that the timing and wording contained within the posting leave room for interpretation that is both troubling and harmful. Such an interpretation certainly does not reflect my true beliefs as a lifetime supporter of the rule of law.Bentonville Police Officer Jason Beeler
The Bentonville Police has resolved the situation as an internal personnel matter.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The Bentonville Police Department responds to a Facebook post by an officer that showed support for the insurrection at the Capitol on Wednesday.
The City of Bentonville has received contacts from concerned citizens about a recent social media post believed to have been made by an employee of the police department. Certainly, it is well established that a social media post by an individual employee would not amount to a position statement by the City. If any such position statement were to be made, it would come from theChief Jon Simpson
Council, the Mayor, or legal staff representing the City. Further review and consideration of the circumstances concerning the post are being carried out, and corrective action will be taken, if appropriate. Because this is a personnel matter, additional information or further comments will not be provided at this time.
The officer, Jason Beeler, said the following in a Facebook post: “What is happening at the Capital [sic] is exactly what needed to happen! Open your eyes people, the left is taking everything you feel to be true and important and watering it down to the point it will go away. These law makers need to wake up and see the conservative side is fed up and will defend our rights! Prayers for all who are protesting today. Please stand firm and respectfully legally protest!!”