Ferguson officer gets unpaid leave after calling Mike Brown memorial 'trash'



A protester kneels next to a memorial for Michael Brown in the middle of the street, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014,
He couldn't hide his lie for long.
The Ferguson police spokesman who called a memorial for Michael Brown "trash" while speaking to The Washington Post and then denied it when flak ensued has been placed on unpaid leave.
Public Information Officer Timothy Zoll was placed on unpaid leave after he came clean that he did indeed demean the memorial for the black teen after it was run over on Christmas, according to a statement released by the City of Ferguson Saturday.
"Upon being confronted with the results of the Ferguson Police Department’s investigation regarding the remarks that were attributed to the Public Information Officer, the officer admitted to Department investigators that he did in fact make the remarks attributed to him, and that he misled his superiors when asked about the contents of the interview," the statement reads. "The officer has been placed on unpaid leave, effective immediately, while disciplinary proceedings begin."
Zoll called the memorial—consisting of flowers and stuffed animals— a "pile of trash" after Postreporter Jose A. DelReal asked him about police response to its destruction.
“I don’t know that a crime has occurred,” Zoll told the Post Friday. “But a pile of trash in the middle of the street? The Washington Post is making a call over this?”
The memorial, which is in the street where 18-year-old Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer, was promptly rebuilt by protesters who have been marching for months to bring attention to Brown's death. They are upset over police brutality and the fact that the white police officer who shot Brown, who was unarmed, was not indicted.
The Ferguson Police Department has been in hot water since Brown's death, with many protesters calling for the removal of Police Chief Thomas Jackson. Several rallies have taken place outside the Ferguson Police Department headquarters since August, when Brown was killed.
"The City of Ferguson 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 statement continues.




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