Lansing, Michigan – Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue was suspended by Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday for posting an "inappropriate" meme on Facebook.
The meme was posted in response to all of the NFL kneelers, and called them "millionaire ingrates."
Col. Etue immediately apologized as people called for her termination over the meme.
Gov. Snyder released a statement when announcing that Col. Etue would be suspended for five days.
"Colonel Etue posted something on social media that was inappropriate. She immediately apologized and has acted to demonstrate that apology, including facilitating meetings with various groups to hear concerns and to share the work the Michigan State Police does in cities and neighborhoods statewide to connect with the communities they serve and recruit new troopers from all backgrounds," Snyder said in the statement, according to MLive.
"I have full faith in Col. Etue's leadership as the commander of the Michigan State Police, which I believe to be the best law enforcement body in the nation.
"The Colonel has served honorably as an enlisted trooper for 30 years, and I hope we can come together as Michiganders to move forward and find common ground, rather than rehash past mistakes."
Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue initially shared the “We the People” meme on Facebook last month that said athletes that kneel during the national anthem are “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans” and “a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
That meme states:
We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans. Who wins a football game has ZERO impact on our lives. Who fights for and defends our nation has EVERY impact on our lives. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates.
Signed, We The People
Col. Etue posted her apology on the Michigan State Police’s Facebook page.
“It was a mistake to share this message on Facebook and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended,” she wrote. “I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan.”
Col. Etue’s post was criticized by the ACLU for exercising her free speech.
"It is the sworn duty of the State Police Director to uphold the Constitution which protects all people in this State and to demonstrate respect for those principles," said Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, on her Facebook wall.
"She undermines her own position and the trust of the community with these remarks and utter disregard of the people she represents."
And organization called The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality called for Col. Etue to be fired, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"Etue's words simply reflect the continued racist actions of the Michigan State Police, both in how they treat our citizens and in how their hiring demographics fail to even approach equity," coalition spokesman Kenneth Reed said in a news release.