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STATEMENT OF LOCAL 364

,
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF POLICE OFFICERS

Local 364, IBPO, the union representing the police officers of the Springfield Police
Department, is extremely disappointed in the decision of Commissioner Barbieri to terminate
the employment of Officer Conrad Lariviere. Officer Lariviere’s comments on Facebook were
made in his capacity as a private citizen, he never identified himself as a Springfield police
officer, or implicated the Springfield Police Department in any way. He was engaged in an
exchange with a life-long friend regarding the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which he
expressed his abhorrence at the disorderly disruption of public safety and convenience caused
by the demonstrators and counter-demonstrators in that community. At the time of the posting
he did not know whether the motor vehicle which ran into a group of demonstrators was driven
by an Alt Right supporter, or a counter-demonstrator, or may even have been the result of a
medical event. His point was that such disorderly behavior has serious consequences, and both
sides of the dispute bore responsible for the disruptions. Someone not involved in the Facebook
exchange who had access to it, presumably a Facebook friend of the other party, publicized the
exchange. That exchange was then falsely characterized by the media as supportive of the Alt
Right demonstrators, even as racist, and was picked up by media outlets around the country
which repeated the false characterizations. We note that there is no social media policy in effect
for members of our union. While some may find Off. Lariviere’s comments to have been
insensitive, we do not believe that they rise to the level of misconduct, and certainly do not
warrant termination, even if there was a clear policy involved. We also believe that the subject
of the Facebook posting was a matter of public concern, and protected speech. We believe that
the termination is based on political considerations, not a fair, impartial assessment of the
evidence, and the rights and obligations of Off. Lariviere. We expect that Officer Lariviere will
appeal his termination and we will support him in that process.

The Executive Board
Local 364, IBPO