The morning after Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder, Captain Jay Huard was scrolling through Facebook on his lunch break when he saw a post that resonated with how he felt about the trial.

“Chauvin immediately stood and calmly placed his hands behind his back. Imagine where we’d be had George done the same,” the post read.

Huard, a spokesman for Fall River’s police department at the time, told investigators hired by the police department he forgot to switch over to his personal account before sharing the post on Facebook.

The words were instead published on the police department’s Facebook page, triggering outrage among many Fall River residents.

Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza announced this week he’s suspending Huard for 30 days without pay. He’s also transferring Huard out of the Office of Professional Standards, where the captain managed internal investigations into police misconduct.

In an investigative report released by the department this week, Cardoza recalled asking Huard why he tried to post the message on a personal account.

“Chief, I’m just so frustrated,” Huard allegedly responded. “Everybody hates us.”

Investigators relied on interviews with 15 of Huard’s current and former coworkers to evaluate whether the captain held any underlying bias against racial minorities.

“Throughout the interviews Huard was described as a very fair, respectful person who treats people with dignity,” the report said.

Huard later expressed remorse to investigators over the post. 

“As time’s gone by, my opinion has changed drastically,” he told them. “Even had I just put it on my page, even had I upset one person, then it was wrong. It was insensitive and it was ignorant.”

“My intent was to basically show another side of wanting peace, and perhaps if people just followed police, followed their direction, maybe a future harm can be eliminated or at least be reduced,” Huard said.

Mayor Paul Coogan said the Facebook post was “a horrible mistake” that undermines trust in policing.

“People say when they look at this, ‘They can't even manage their own people. How the heck are they going to tell anyone else what to do?’” Coogan said.

Huard will hold on to his rank as a police captain. Coogan said no other complaints of misconduct have been filed against Huard during his 25 years on the force.

Ben Berke is the South Coast Bureau Reporter for The Public’s Radio. He can be reached at bberke@thepublicsradio.org.