MASON CITY — The Mason City Police Department and Mason City Community School District have reacted to a racist video that was recently published on social media. The video of two white teens making the racist comments included a family member of a Mason City police officer.
A statement released by Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says the department does not support the action in any way and they’ve worked diligently to build relationships in the community and to improve the diversity of the organization.
Brinkley says they’ve conferred with the county attorney’s office about the matter. He says the department believes the content of the post is protected by free speech rights in the First Amendment, and adds while the content has been offensive to nearly everyone who has seen it, First Amendment speech is limited only in time, place and manner by law enforcement authorities. Brinkley says they’ve asked the Clear Lake Police Department to further investigate the matter to avoid any conflict of interest.
The Mason City Community School District also released a statement, saying it’s their highest priority to ensure the ongoing safety of students and staff at the schools and to be responsive to and supportive of all the needs of students. They encourage parents to talk with children about their use of social media and the implications it can have on their family, friends, classmates and the community.
Text of statements from the Mason City Police Department and Mason City Community School District:
Contact Person: Chief Jeff BrinkleyRe: Racist Social Media Post by MCPD Officer’s Family Member
At approximately noon today, the Mason City Police Department was made aware of a socialmedia post that was made by an immediate family member of one of our officers. This post wasoffensive, racist, and done in poor taste. The Mason City Police Department does not supportthis action in any way and has worked diligently to build relationships in our community and toimprove the diversity of our organization.
We have conferred with the Cerro Gordo County Attorney about this matter. At this time,MCPD believes the content of the post is protected by First Amendment free speech. Whileoffensive to nearly everyone who has seen it, First Amendment speech is limited only in time,place, and manner by law enforcement authorities. The Clear Lake Police Department has beenasked to further investigate to avoid a conflict of interest. Anyone with information about thisincident is asked to call CLPD at 641-357-2186.
We have been in communication with the Mason City Community School District in theaftermath of this post. We are working with school officials to insure the ongoing safety ofstudents and staff at Mason City schools.
For those in our community who are impacted by this post, we empathize with your anger anddisgust. We encourage parents to talk to their children about their use of social media and itspotential impact on them, their friends and classmates, and their community. We, as people, aremore alike than different, but sometimes need to take intentional steps to learn more about thosewho are different than us. My hope is that, in time, we can grow from this and be better andstronger than we are today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESeptember 26, 2019CONTACT: Sue Deike, Community Relations and Communications
The Mason City Community School District learned today of a social media post havingracial implications which was made outside of the school environment by two studentsenrolled in Mason City Community School District.
Our highest priority is to ensure the ongoing safety of students and staff at Mason CitySchools and to be responsive to and supportive of all of our students’ needs. Weencourage parents to talk with your children about their use of social media and theimplications it can have on their family, friends, classmates and their community. Weare working with the Mason City Police Department in this matter and we ask foreveryone’s help in building positive relationships to help our community move forwardtogether.