“Cop resigns over ‘indefensible’ Instagram post threatening shootings”
June 4, 2020 | 1:55pm
The Canton police officer, identified in reports as six-year veteran Andrew Russ, resigned prior to being terminated over the Instagram post he made late Tuesday, police announced Wednesday.
“The officer’s conduct is unacceptable and not in line with the standards of the Canton Police Department,” Chief Jack Angelo said in a statement. “The Canton Police Department condemns all forms of racism. Please do not judge all officers by the actions of one former officer.”
Video posted to Twitter Tuesday showed a man identified as Russ wearing tactical gear while holding a canned beverage as 50 Cent’s 2003 hit “Many Men” plays, complete with lyrics on screen.
“Many men wish death upon me, blood in my eye dawg and I can’t see, I’m tryin’ to be what I’m destined to be, and n—-s tryin’ to take my life away,” the post read. “I put a hole in [a] n—- for f–king with me.”
The 15-second post also shows Russ sticking out his tongue while making a hand gesture and a middle figure emoji.
The Instagram post came amid six consecutive days of protests in Canton in the aftermath of George Floyd’s Memorial Day death in police custody in Minneapolis, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
“I don’t even want to know a reason why he did it,” Angelo told the newspaper. “It’s indefensible. In 31 years, I’ve never been so upset with a police officer as I was with him.”
After seeing Russ’ video, Angelo sent a patrol supervisor to his home to get his gun, badge and other city equipment. He was placed on suspension and a determination hearing was set for Wednesday, Angelo said.
Russ then proceeded to skip the hearing and resigned, the newspaper reports.
“He actually in the past was a good officer,” the chief continued. “I don’t know what his issues were. But his past is irrelevant when you do something like this. In these circumstances, there was no alternative other than for him to be terminated.”
The post was only up for 5 to 10 minutes before it was taken down, the Dispatch reports.
Russ, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, got in touch with a police union president to arrange his resignation prior to the hearing, a police spokesman told The Post.
“He communicated solely with the union president and so it basically went from what you saw on the video to his resignation,” Lt. Dennis Green said. “There was no dialogue in-between.”
A message seeking comment from 50 Cent’s reps was not immediately returned Thursday.
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