Police Chief Praised Armed Citizens Keeping Out Looters. Then He Was Forced to Resign.

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Posted: Jun 07, 2020 2:33 PM
Police Chief Praised Armed Citizens Keeping Out Looters. Then He Was Forced to Resign.

Source: AP Photo/John Minchillo

Lowell, Michigan Police Chief Steve Bukala was forced to resign after using the department's official Facebook page to praise four armed citizens who protected businesses from being looted.

“We at the Lowell Police Department support the legally armed citizen and the Second Amendment,” the chief said in the now-deleted Facebook post. 

Bukala also shared the message on his personal Facebook page.

According to WOOD-TV, City Manager Michael Burns said Bukala committed “conduct unbecoming of a police officer,” and violated policy that “Personnel shall not allow personal feelings to influence their professional conduct.” 

Burns felt the Facebook post “inserted political and debatable issues into a departmental notice which causes unneeded concern by some city residents. Your actions created an unnecessary negative portrayal of the city in some citizens’ view.”

The city manager said Bukala overstepped his bounds by providing “unneeded personal commentary and inserted political and debatable issues into a department notice and caused unneeded concern by some city residents," MLive reported.

The chief was given until 5 p.m. on Thursday to resign. If he didn't do it, at 5:01 p.m. he would be fired.

“I’ve decided it’s time to start my life outside of the Lowell Police Department and my future looks very bright,” Bukala wrote in his resignation email.

The department shared a statement on Facebook apologizing for "these mistakes."

The next day the city released a statement saying Bukala resigned. 

Something like this shouldn't be controversial, especially when we have the Second Amendment in our Constitution. Sheriffs have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, which means protecting people's right to keep and bear arms. These young men should be commended for defending their communities. And Chief Bukala deserves to be applauded for not trampling on people's rights.