A Louisiana police officer was fired after making a racist comment on Facebook, suggesting he wanted the coronavirus to kill all Black people. According to KLFY, Steven Aucoin shared his racist views during Gov. John Bel Edwards’ live press conference on the state’s COVID-19 response last Friday. 

In a video of the discussion, which has since been deleted, one Facebook user posted a comment on the livestream, claiming that the coronavirus "was created to kill all the Blacks."

That's when the officer responded in the comment section, saying “Well it didn’t work. How unfortunate.”

The Kaplan Police Department issued a statement on Facebook following the incident.

"We are writing this to inform everyone that we were made aware of the situation with the comments on Facebook from Steven Aucoin," the department stated. "Chief Hardy had the incident looked into and the officer was terminated. Chief Hardy and the Kaplan Police Department would like to apologize for this matter."

 

Kaplan Police Chief Joshua Hardy said that type of behavior isn't tolerated. According to KLFY, Aucoin was fired within hours.

“We’re held to a higher standard than normal civilians, so you got to watch what you do, you got to watch what you say. You can’t just go and post anything you want on social media,” the police chief said.

Louisiana firefighter Joshua Brothers said the officer made his comments in two separate posts and that likely caused a misunderstanding.

“The newest update that Facebook does, it doesn’t put the comments in consecutive order like it used to," Brothers told KLFY. "It’s not a timeline thing. Relevant newer comments might be above. Some comments aren’t listed at all.”

The firefighter added that the screenshot might have been taken out of context.

”I just want to see the true story brought out to light you know regardless of what it is. But I don’t believe that was his intent,” he said.

Victoria Verdun, another Kaplan resident, also defended the officer, saying he was polite when he responded to a call at her home. 

“He’s the only one that follows the rule book. He doesn’t yell or curse at you like other officers do, and I just don’t think it’s right," she said. "He’s far from a racist. He’s far from rude or whatever else people are calling him. He is just a man trying to provide for his family.”

Hardy is staying firm on his stance, saying the officer had made other controversial comments in the thread.

“There were some comments that were further up that was not suitable for a police officer to put up on Facebook,” he said.

According to a report from The Guardian, Black Americans are dying from the coronavirus at a rate three times that of white people.