An internal investigation was launched against Mike Brown, a detective with the King County Sheriff’s Office, on Monday following reports that he had shared a meme which read “All Lives Splatter. Get your a** off the road,” and depicted a truck barreling through a crowd of people.
According to the Washington Post, Brown allegedly shared the meme on his Facebook page just hours after Taylor, 24, was struck by a car on Saturday and later died in a hospital. Another demonstrator, 32-year-old Diaz Love, was also hit by the vehicle in question and has severe injuries from the incident.
Dawit Kelete, the 27-year-old driver of the car, has been charged by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving.
Today the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed charges against Dawit Kelete for the crash that killed one person and seriously injured another the morning of July 4 on southbound Interstate 5 in Seattle. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/V3sQk9eYsp— King Co Prosecutor (@KCProsecutor) July 8, 2020
Kelete’s lawyer told the Associated Press that “there’s absolutely nothing political about this case whatsoever” and that it was a “horrible, horrible accident.”
“That guy needs to be fired now,” Matt Taylor, father of the late 24-year-old, told the Seattle Times - referring to Brown. “I think anybody who was liking it, sharing it or doing anything else with it should be fired. I think that’s beyond obvious. It’s disgusting and it’s unfathomable to me.”
Following Sunday reports from netizens, the sheriff’s office is now investigating three of Brown’s social media posts, reported Seattle-based outlet KING-TV.
“I see a couple of people got infected with COVID-19 from the hood of a car on I-5 last night,” he reportedly said in one post observed before his account was taken down.
He also appeared to mock the shooting death of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson, who was killed during Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).
“Say what? The CHAZ/CHOP have renamed Cal Anderson Park the, ‘Lil Renz’s Last Stand Park,’” he allegedly said in the post.
Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee said via Twitter on Tuesday that he was “deeply disappointed” in his cousin Brown and rejected his “inflammatory comments about recent protests.”
I'm deeply disappointed and totally reject the language of my cousin Mike Brown who made inflammatory comments about recent protests. The language is unacceptable and just flat wrong, particularly from a law enforcement officer, as we try to heal the divisions of our community.— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) July 7, 2020
“We value all members of our community and are committed to serving everyone equally, with dignity and respect,” Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht said in a Monday statement issued by her office.
Brown, who has been a member of the department for more than 40 years, was assigned to executive protection detail prior to his suspension.
“The heart is the center of your character, and that is his character,” Reverend Harriet Walden of Mothers for Police Accountability told local news outlet KIRO-TV. “So now, let’s find out how many complaints he has. The door’s open.”