A spokesman for the Ferguson Police Department was suspended after describing a memorial to Michael Brown as “trash” to a Washington Post blogger.
The memorial is located near the Canfield Green apartments in the spot where Brown, an African American, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. A grand jury did not indict Wilson for Brown’s murder.
KMOV-TV reported that Officer Timothy Zoll was placed on unpaid leave after he made the comment to the press. He will face a disciplinary hearing.
On Friday, Zoll was speaking to a blogger for the Washington Post when he was asked about reports in the media that the memorial to Brown had been intentionally destroyed.
KMOV said Zoll told the blogger he didn’t know if a crime had occurred and then added, “But a pile of trash in the middle of the street? The Washington Post is making a call over this?”
Initially, the police officer told his superiors he did not make the comment but later admitted that he did.
“The Ferguson Police Department wants to emphasize that negative remarks about the Michael Brown memorial do not reflect the feelings of the Ferguson Police Department and are in direct contradiction to the efforts of city officials to relocate the memorial to a more secure location,” the department said in a statement, according to KSDK (Channel 5).