Ben Schlag of Rochester is the latest Minnesota cop to learn the lesson that free speech is legal on Facebook, and in the United States, but that doesn't mean the offensive things you share won't come back to bite you.
Schlag, a five-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, was placed on leave from his duties there on Friday after a number of his social media posts were brought to public attention. Schlag apparently thought these memes were either funny or poignant. He now has some time to reconsider his taste.
His posts, which often took the form of re-shared memes from other users, range in nature from questionable to inexcusable. In one example, Schlag posted a line that's been circulating since late last year: "Studies have shown that Muslims Radicals are a lot less prone to violence after they've been shot in the fucking face."
Schlag's posts were captured and sent to city leaders by Me to We Racial Healing, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin. Roger Peterson, chief of the Rochester Police Department, told the paper that the department's investigation is a "big priority," and hoped to get to the bottom of it soon.
"That is definitely where our focus is this week," Peterson said, "and, in fairness to all concerned, we want it concluded as soon as possible."
Another of Schlag's offerings will sound awfully familiar to St. Paul, which recently rid itself of longtime cop Jeff Rothecker, who had advised people to drive right over Black Lives Matter protesters blocking the road. Schlag seems to agree with that notion, and, in a post from November 17 — two days after the police shooting of Jamar Clark — added, "GET A JOB."
In another tidbit of red-hot commentary, Schlag supports the idea of "fixing" the world's problems by wiping most of the Middle East off the map. In this image, the island of Israel is surrounded by what's labeled "Ground Zero Ocean."
Yet another classic from the Schlag comedy routine compares Al Capone to a young black man walking down the street. The post seems to make a favorable comparison between Capone — a murderous mob boss, but one who dressed nice, and was white — and the guy whose crime is being a "D Bag" with low-hanging pants.
In another post, also captured by the group Rochester for Justice, Schlag asks, "Can anybody recommend a good electrician?"
No real insult there, as far as we can tell. But, seriously, Ben Schlag needs an electrician. Schlag is available to meet the handyman any time from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for at least the next little while here. Maybe a long while.