*A Ferguson, Mo. police t officer has been disciplined following comments he made after one of two memorials to Michael Brown was destroyed.
NewsOne.com reports that Ferguson police department public information officer Timothy Zoll was placed on unpaid leave, effective immediately, while the department evaluates disciplinary action.
Zoll’s punishment followed the Christmas night desecration of, the memorial, which was set up in the middle of the street where Brown laid dead for four and a half hours after being shot by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. NewsOne noted that the memorial was demolished by a driver who many feel ran it over on purpose.
Soon after learning the memorial was destroyed on Twitter, activist went to the site to rebuild it, according to Politicus USA.
When the Washington Post asked the department for comment about the incident KMOV in St. Louis mentioned that Zoll said no crime had been reported in connection to the memorial, which he labeled as “trash.”
“I don’t know that a crime has occurred,” Zoll was quoted as saying. “But a pile of trash in the middle of the street? That Washington Post is making a call over this?”
Zoll’s comments resulted in a statement released the following day by the City of Ferguson, which revealed that it had initiated an internal investigation. In addition, the statement showed that Zoll admitted to lying to his superiors when they asked about the contents of his interview.
The following is part of the Ferguson Police Department press release:
“Upon being confronted with the results of the Ferguson Police Department’s investigation regarding the remarks that were attributed to the Public Information Officer, the officer admitted to Department investigators that he did in fact make the remarks attributed to him, and that he misled his superiors when asked about the contents of the interview. The officer has been placed on unpaid leave, effective immediately, while disciplinary proceedings begin.”
The driver’s destruction of Brown’s memorial comes months after another memorial was destroyed by fire in September. Protestors believe that the demolition of the memorials were done intentionally.