Controversial social media post raises community concerns

DARBY TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The post depicts a white police officer with two black men pointing guns to the front and back of the officer's head.

It was a meme reposted by Darby Township First Ward Commissioner Marvin Smith.

It has drawn the ire of many, including the Delaware County Police Union.

"The Fraternal Order of Police is calling for Mr. Smith's immediate removal. His resignation is what we're looking for," said Union President Joseph Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald says this post does one thing, promotes murdering police.

"So probably more than a month ago, he met with the police department and the chief," said Fitzgerald. "Told the officers he was behind them. Well if this is the way he's going to support police officers, no thanks."

Several other county agencies agree.

Part of a joint statement between the Delaware County Council and DA reads: "The social media post is not only threatening to law enforcement; it also continues to create a divide in our community."

The Delaware County Police Chiefs Association also wrote: "He is an elected official who has oversight of the Darby Township Police Department who has clearly shown callous indifference to the lives of Police."

Action News was able to speak with commissioner Smith by phone Friday.

He differed to his response on Facebook.

"Recently I reposted a meme that depicted the frustration of the community with the instances of rogue policing," said Smith.

He also expressed regret if offending anyone writing: "I not only support good policing of our communities I welcome it and will continue to be a zealous ally of our friends in blue."

But residents say you can't take back what's posted online.

We spoke with one woman who said, "I think he should step down too."

However, others like resident Steve Sharpe have a different opinion.

While he condemns the post telling us Friday night "I think it's dangerous."

He says its true message is police reform, though admits it's a poor choice of a way to do so.

"We have children's and we want to leave and at least give them a chance to feel safe," said Sharpe.
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