A recently hired police chief in the town of Seaside, in Monterey County, has fallen victim to what's becoming a strangely common pitfall of public figures with insufficient social media skills and controversial views. Seaside Police Chief Robert Jackson, apparently unaware that his Facebook posts were publicly viewable, went about posting various fake news items expressing offensive, racist, and/or anti-liberal ideas that were apparently funny to him and his Facebook friends and family, only to be called out by a local newspaper columnist and now forced to resign.
As KSBW reports, Jackson has announced his intention to "retire" next month, after only taking the job less than a year ago, following the police department placing him on administrative leave.
The background here is that Monterey County Weekly published this column on September 14 calling out Jackson's Facebook posts, which have since been made private, in which he both proved himself a climate change denier with the reposting of a meme from a fake Twitter account, and a racist critic of Barack Obama, with the reposting of an article full of falsehoods purporting to be listing the former president's "accomplishments" as the first black President.
The latter can be found here, from a site called America's Freedom Fighters, and it was from 2014, listing Obama's accomplishments that included "First President to surround himself with radical left wing anarchists," "First president to marry a man," "First president to smoke crack cocaine in the White House," and "First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner."
In July, as Monterey County Weekly noted, Jackson posted a Conservative Tribune article with the headline "Climate ‘Scientists’ Cancel 2018 Doomsday." And earlier he posted a meme from a fake account pretending to be that of California Congresswoman Maxine Waters @MaxineVVaters, since suspended showing two pictures supposedly of Venice Beach during high and low tide, and the fake Waters writes, “Think climate change isn’t real?” with "#INPEACH" (sic) afterwards, and then a screenshot of this with the message "Can someone tell this retarded Democrat high tide and low tide are not impeachable offenses."
When Monterey County Weekly reached Jackson, he told them, "I love this community," and, "This is alarming to me,” he adds. “I didn’t realize it was that open to the public."
Quips the columnist who broke the story, who goes by The Squid, "More alarming: A police chief who doesn’t know how Facebook works, disseminates racist conspiracies, and can’t sniff out a fake Twitter account."
He submitted a memo to the city manager of Seaside on Monday, September 18, announcing his intention to retire. He writes, "I have truly enjoyed the time I have been allowed to lead our police department and am excited to see it continue down the path of success we have started down."
This stories follows on the resignation of the mayor of Piedmont, in the East Bay, after several posts he knowingly made public on Facebook disparaging transgender people as "mentally ill," that "Black Lives Matter encourages cop killing," and saying "Democrats are the plantation slave masters of today." Though he half-apologized for the statements, he also seemed bewildered that they had caused offense, given that Piedmont used to be more Republican than it is now.