Bloomingdale cop disciplined for hitting 'Like' on Facebook post about shooting rioters

A Bloomingdale police officer, who also is a DuPage County Board member, will be disciplined for "liking" a Facebook comment that talked about shooting rioters.

Sean Noonan has apologized for "liking" the comment, which a resident posted May 30 on Noonan's personal Facebook page. He has since "unliked" the comment and removed the post.

On Thursday, Bloomingdale Director of Public Safety Frank Giammarese said Noonan violated the police department's strict social media policy by "liking" the Facebook comment that read, "Sean, as awful as it sounds, until a few rioters are shot dead, and their bodies left in the street for the wolves, there's no message law abiding people and the officers that protect them can send to these terrorists to instill fear and good behavior in them ..."

Giammarese said Noonan will be disciplined internally. He said it is departmental policy not to release the outcome of internal investigations, but in this case, the discipline could range from a reprimand up to a suspension.

"He is not going to lose his job over this," Giammarese said. "We will deal with it internally."

In addition, Noonan and other Bloomingdale officers will receive additional training.

Giammarese said the case isn't indicative of Noonan as a Bloomingdale police officer.

"He does outstanding work for us, and I have no concerns as we move forward," he said. "It was an unfortunate thing that he got involved in. But he didn't draft the Facebook message. He made a mistake and 'liked' something."

The controversy became public when written statements about Noonan were read during Tuesday's county board meeting.

Residents called on the county board to make a public statement condemning those who call for violence to be taken on peaceful protesters. They also said they wanted action to be taken against Noonan, who has represented District 2 since 2012.

Noonan on Tuesday said he never intended to endorse the comment. "I condemn those words in the strongest possible terms," the Elmhurst Republican said.

On Wednesday, Noonan released a written statement saying he was "sorry for the mistake I made" on May 30.

"I was scrolling through social media late that night while listening to the Chicago police scanner," he said in the statement. "My attention was drawn to intensity of emotions that were being expressed in the city and over the police radio when I clicked 'like' on a post. I hope others will learn from my mistake."

Giammarese said Bloomingdale police launched an internal investigation after receiving phone calls and emails about the incident. Now that the probe has concluded, he said, "we're going to learn from it and move forward."

Bloomingdale officers already receive annual diversity training, as well as de-escalation and mental health training.

"The world has changed, and we have adapted to it," Giammarese said. "We're open to continued dialogue."

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