Veteran Erie Police chief traffic investigator and Sergeant Jeff Annunziata has been fired after sending an email with racist comments to Mayor Joe Schember and multiple outlets according to the Mayor.
Mayor Schember made that announcement in a news conference Thursday evening after receiving an email that was sent through Annunziata’s work account.
“Containing racist and derogatory statements and assertions, ” explained Erie city Mayor Joe Schember.
“I condemn these statements, I am appalled and disgusted by the racial insensitive in his email.”
The email sent by Annunziata to the mayor and at least one news outlet included the following statement:
“Minorities (BLACK PEOPLE) talk of SOCIAL JUSTICE when they cannot take care of their own or anyone else with out playing the race card, why? To say BLM and not all lives matter is racist, to stop a confederate flag from waving is a violation of the first amendment, why is this ignored. What about police lives that are killed in this country, why was there no protest when my friend and brother officer Richard Burchick was murdered by a black man?”
Chief of Police Dan Spizarny explained that an internal investigation was conducted and it was discovered that the email was sent from his work account and identified himself as a police officer.
“The City of Erie Police cannot and will not allow tax payer money to be used to spread hatred and ambiguity,” said Spizarny.
“Mr. Annunziata’s views are not reflective of the Erie Police Department.”
The City Solicitor explained that the union is aware of this decision and how they move forward is up to them and if the Erie Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7 chooses to challenge this decision they have up to 10 days to do so.
“It’s their legal right to do so, but nothing indicated what they wish to do at this point this just happened,” said City of Erie Solicitor Ed Betza.
After reaching out to the president of the FOP, they said the union does not have a comment at this time.