The Long Beach Police Department has fired a police officer after learning he posted a picture of himself holding his baton over a blood-splattered sidewalk during Sunday’s protests against police brutality, officials said.
The officer, Jacob Delgado, posted the image on his Instagram account around 9 p.m. on May 31, according to the person who provided the photos to the Long Beach Post. This is at the same time officers were clashing with protesters in Downtown as looting began to spread across the city after the 3,000- person march.
The baton in the photo had Delgado’s name on it. Another Instagram account also shared the photo in Delgado’s story, adding the words, “bro getting his” on top of the baton.
Police Chief Robert Luna called the images “disturbing” and a spokeswoman said the department immediately launched an investigation on Thursday when they learned of the photos. They removed Delgado from his patrol duties that day.
By Friday, the department fired him. It is extremely uncommon for LBPD to fire an officer so quickly.
“Our organization is dedicated to our community and we must build upon the relationships we have while continuing to develop and foster new relationships,” Luna said. “We hold our employees to the highest standards and will not ignore behavior that erodes public trust.”
The department said they are also investigating the circumstances around the photos.
A press release from the LBPD says Delgado graduated from the police academy in May 2019.
Buzzfeed News posted a story about Delgado and Long Beach politicians, including Councilmembers Rex Richardson and Jeannine Pearce, soon weighed in on the situation.
“Zero tolerance for this. Don’t be silent. The culture has to change,” Richardson said on Facebook.