Avon Cops Weren't Fans of Obama

Five Avon police officers and a dispatcher received written reprimands for forwarding anti-Obama emails on the job.  The discipline comes after an internal investigation and pressure from community activists.

The email in question was circulated during election season.  It highlighted portions of two books written by Barack Obama, and was titled "Who Does He Stand For?"

"Their distribution of this email, our investigation has concluded, was political," said Mark Rinaldo, Avon's Police Chief.  "It was not racial." 

The department's internal investigation showed the email made it to 12 workers inside the Avon police department.  Six of them forwarded the email to others, including the Lt. who started it all, said Chief Rinaldo.  The other six either ignored the email or deleted it. 

The email controversy prompted community activists, who were concerned about potential bias in the department, to meet with town officials.  "We want to be fair about this and we want to give the Avon police department and the town officials the benefit of the doubt, but we want them to know that the community is watching," said Reverend Cornell Lewis.

"The officers involved here just don't have a racist bone in their body," said Chief Rinaldo.  "They made a mistake by forwarding something that perhaps they didn't even read."

Besides the discipline, town officials are now working to strengthen town email policies.  They are also working to educate workers about appropriate computer use.

"I will not tolerate this type of this behavior in our department," said Chief Rinaldo.

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