Sheriff's office employees fired after mocking people with Down Syndrome

1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago Monday, April 01 2019 Apr 1, 2019 Monday, April 01, 2019 10:28:00 AM CDT April 01, 2019 in News
By: Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 News Content Manager, Kasia Kerridge, KOMU 8 Reporter
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CALIFORNIA - Two people were fired from the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office over the weekend in response to "derogatory" Facebook posts.

Viewers sent KOMU 8 News screenshots of the posts, which have since been deleted, in which the employees appear to mock people with Down Syndrome.

In a press release, Sheriff Tony Wheatley said Dillon Davenport, who worked at the jail, and Lt. Kevin Morse were terminated. Wheatley said he "found the items posted to be offensive and showing very poor judgement." He added a statement that "we as law enforcement, need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the general public and realize that everything we do has an effect on the citizens we serve."

Wheatley said they do not monitor all employees' social media accounts, but they do have a strict social media policy.

"In our position, we hold the public trust." said Wheatley. "The public trusts us to do our job correctly and when things like this come up, it tarnishes our reputation as a sheriff's office."

Tyler Davis went to high school with Davenport and saw the post after his family friend, who has fetal alcohol syndrome, showed him. Davis messaged Davenport, questioned his post and was later blocked by Davenport on Facebook. 

"I took it upon myself to let everyone know what was up," said Davis. "I did not expect it to take off like it did."

Davis' post has hundreds of comments and shares, and he said he got many messages asking to take the post down. His account was reported for profanity and was shutdown Sunday, but is back up Monday. 

He said although he wanted consequences, he didn't think the men would be terminated. 

"I didn't want it to come down to this," said Davis. "I wanted something to be done but this is just not a joking matter."

Davis said the disabled community can't speak out for themselves, so I felt the need to. Davis added Wheatley has handled this very well.

"I don't have anything against law enforcement," said Davis. "But I don't support people that wear a badge and do this kind of stuff." 

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