Sheriff Fired over Comments on How He Would Treat Black People ‘in the Pre-Camera Days’

Image courtesy of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office.
Image courtesy of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.

The Lucas County Sheriff’s Office fired one of its deputies Wednesday after the 19-year veteran made a series of inappropriate Facebook posts in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to, Ohio Deputy Thomas Hillabrand, 57, was terminated from his post after an internal affairs investigation revealed that he authored an offensive social media post describing a racially charged incident that occurred at a Toledo Taco Bell drive-thru window.

In the post, Hillabrand claims that two African-American Taco Bell employees made vulgar comments about police, yelled “Black Lives Matter,” and laughed in his face. The deputy was in uniform at the time, the news site reports.

“I guess we’ll see if they’re still laughing after I call their corporate office Monday and unload on someone,” Hillabrand wrote on July 23. “Not only were they completely disrespectful to law enforcement but that’s absolutely no way to treat a cash-paying customer that is supporting the place where they work!”

The deputy went on to encourage other officers not to visit the business and hinted that he might’ve behaved differently if the incident had occurred during the “pre-camera” era.

“Couldn’t reach em,” Hillabrand wrote in response to a Facebook user who was surprised to hear that the deputy didn’t reach through the window to discipline the employees. “In the pre-camera days you know what would a happened!”

According to the Toledo Blade, the internal affairs investigation also uncovered a separate Facebook post in which Hillabrand referenced a way to clear the highways of “BLM,” or Black Lives Matter activists. The post featured a photo of a driver known as “the traffic buster.”

The deputy’s Facebook account listed him as an employee of the sheriff’s office.

A review board has since issued four administrative charges against Hillabrand, which include making racial and sexual remarks and/or harassment and conduct unbecoming an employee of the office, the Toledo Blade reports. The deputy was also found to have violated the department’s social media policy.

“His conduct and actions were outside the policies and procedures of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office,” said Detective Rob Sarahman of the internal affairs bureau.

Comments like those made by Deputy Hillabrand are part of the reason citizens have encouraged the use of police body cameras, as well as the recording of interactions with law enforcement officials.

Just last week, Boston police commissioner William B. Evans moved to randomly assign 100 body cameras to his officers after none of them volunteered to participate in the city’s body-cam pilot program.

“We’ve been talking about it now for a long time. We’ve been doing a lot of work and research on the background of this program, looking at other cities around America that have them, and we’re going to take the next step now,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said.

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