Seattle Police Department spokesman Sean Whitcomb tells PubliCola he recognized several names of people making hostile comments on a Facebook post about an essay criticizing the SPD. "It seems likely they're [SPD] employees," he said, though he couldn't confirm it 100 percent.
"Presumably, the way it's framed up," he said, "they're likely [SPD] employees."
Whitcomb tells PubliCola that SPD Chief Kathleen O'Toole is aware of the comments and "is disappointed" and that she says: "It's unfortunate if these remarks have been made, and it reflects poorly on the entire department."
One apparent officer, Michael Stankiewicz, called the author of the essay an "asshat," for example.
Whitcomb himself said the apparent officers' comments were "silly" and "they would certainly be the subject of future discussion department-wide."
He would not say if the officers---including Stankiewicz, John Marion (infamous for getting disciplined over his encounter with Stranger writer Dominic Holden), Nick Bauer, and several others whose names he recognized---would be called in for one-on-one meetings.
Online commenting was the subject of an SPD directive from former chief John Diaz in 2011.
Titled "FYI: Use of Social Networking Sites," it begins: "You have the right to remain silent...anything you post can and will be used against you..."
It goes on:
And it concludes: "Therefore, Department employees are reminded that common sense holds. If you don't want an employer or others to see what you're posting, don't post it!"
Asked what he thought of the essay in question, which evidently irked several officers, Whitcomb said, "It was the opinion of one person. It was well written. I don't necessarily agree with it. But it was articulate. I read the whole thing."