The Birmingham News reports:
A small-town Alabama police chief has been suspended after making “sarcastic” statements about sexual abuse on Facebook. Killen police Chief Bryan Hammond wrote on Facebook that “silence is consent” and made what he called a joke about being sexually assaulted by U.S. Senate candidate Democrat Doug Jones.
“On another note, Doug Jones fondled me on a boy scout camping trip in 1978,” Hammond wrote in a Facebook comment. “I wasn’t gonna say anything, but I just couldn’t stand the thought of him being a senator. I was ok with it until now. By the way, you can’t see me right now but I’m crying as I type this.”
In a phone interview with AL.com, Hammond said none of it was true, that he was making a joke. “That was sarcasm,” the chief said. Hammond also posted a photo of a yearbook signature purportedly from Jones. The photo shows this hand-written message: “Bryan, Thanks for the great time camping. Doug Jones.”
Hammond has issued a statement:
“I am truly sorry for any of my comments that may have been offensive to anyone. I never meant for the comments to be taken seriously, they were meant only as a joke with a friend. I’ve learned from this experience to refrain from any discussion that could be offensive to anyone who might read it, even if the comment were not intended as a public post.
“The day after the comments were made my friend discovered that someone saw it as something other than a joke as we both intended and she decided to delete the entire post. Once again, I’m sorry for any comments I made that may have been offensive to anyone who read them.”