A Massachusetts state police trooper was suspended without pay indefinitely last week after the Boston Globe reported he had a history of racist online posts.
Sheehan was already out on leave after he fired his rifle while police were rounding up a group that had been riding off-road bikes and all-terrain vehicles on I-93 near South Bay on Feb. 24. An ATV driver— who was charged for reckless driving and other moving violations— was wounded in the foot in the incident.
The Boston Globe reported that Sheehan posted racist and offensive comments on a website called MassCops under the screen name “Big Irish.”
State Police Spokesman Dave Procopio said the department is investigating whether Sheehan is the author of the posts and will take further action “if warranted.” The Boston Globe says that Sheehan’s lawyer confirmed that Sheehan has admitted to authoring the posts, which ridiculed people of color.
Dorchester state Rep. Evandro Carvalho, a candidate for District Attorney in Suffolk County, said that if the allegations against Sheehan are true “he should be fired immediately.” Gov. Charlie Baker, in statements to Mass Live, said that he agreed Sheehan should be fired if he was the source of the racist rants.
“This is an ongoing collection of thoughts and comments that have no place in law enforcement. No place in public discussion. No place in our community, period,” Baker said.
The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice have demanded that Sheehan be terminated immediately.
“Trooper Sheehan is a danger to the community. His history of inflammatory racist language and improper use of force pose a threat to public safety,” said Sophia L. Hall, an attorney who speaks for the committee.
Associated Press reports contributed to this article.