A local police sergeant is on indefinite, unpaid suspension after a post he made on Facebook last week was perceived to be racist.
Shreve police Sgt. Robert Biddle, 34, wrote on Facebook: "Been at work for ONE HOUR and the monkeys have already exceeded their limit of snark I'm gonna take for the night. PUMP THE BRAKES, MONKEYS!"
The post was shared hundreds of times.
"I call my wife monkey," said Biddle. "Unfortunately, it's a term I'm going to have to learn not to use. I've learned now: the timing was really bad."
Police Chief Ron Kiner said he doesn't believe Biddle, an 11-year veteran of the force, meant to be offensive.
"I'm sure there was nothing racist meant by that post," Kiner said. "Because he's just not like that."
Kiner said Biddle was placed on indefinite unpaid suspension-- not for the comments-- but for using social media during work hours and referring to the duties of his job on Facebook.
The only call Biddle responded to prior to writing the Facebook post was a report of a white female with abdominal pain, according to Kiner.
"During the 11 years I've worked with him, I've never heard him make a racial slur and we've never had a complaint," Kiner said.
newsnet5.com looked through Biddle's personnel file. There has not been any disciplinary action against him during his 11 years with the department.
Mayor Yvonne Hendershott said the village will investigate more, but doesn't believe the officer's post was racially motivated.
"I think it all got blown out of proportion because of everything that was going on in the world," Hendershott said. "I have zero tolerance for that. If I even had an inkling that it was that (racist), he would have been gone, but I'm 100 percent sure it wasn't."
"I am sorry, I really am," Biddle told newsnet5.com in an exclusive interview. "It wasn't meant to come off that way. I'm not that kind of person and I'm sorry that I've hurt people in this. But please give some benefit of the doubt that I'm telling the truth."