Wayne Welsh, a Louisiana police officer who was suspended for sharing a racist meme just two years ago is now his city’s police chief.
In July 2017, Wayne shared a meme of a woman pushing a white girl’s head into the water in a bathtub that read, “When your daughter’s first crush is a little negro boy.”
He denied it was racist.
A few days after news of the post spread, Welsh, an assistant police chief at the time, had prepared his resignation. Ultimately, he was never asked to resign and was instead suspended without pay for two weeks.
In spring 2018, the village’s police chief resigned and Welsh served as interim chief for several months before the November election.
Residents in the village of Estherwood elected him chief of police. He ran unopposed on the ballot.
Welsh was sworn in on Dec. 7, 2018 and has been serving since then. Residents have apparently moved past the post and some told CNN he’s doing a good job.
“It doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, he’s still here to do his job and he does it to the fullest and he would give you the shirt off his back whether you are black, white, Mexican, Asian,” Tyler Lantier, 20, told CNN.
Estherwood has a population of around 900 people. Census data shows less than 5% of the village’s residents are African American.
“What happen(ed) two years ago is behind me and my punishment was done to me and now I’m moving forward with my life and as the new chief of police,” Welsh wrote in a statement to CNN.
Welsh attended required training for police chiefs in February, which included topics like chief/mayor relations, ethics and media relations, NOLA.com reported.
He told the newspaper he would create new social media policies for officers after the training.
When asked what would happen to an officer who made a social media post similar to his in 2017, he said, “It’ll be an automatic termination because we don’t want all this to happen again.”
Estherwood Mayor Donald Popp, who was not in office at the time of the post, told CNN that Welsh “was disciplined, he was dealt with” and he doesn’t “foresee any future problems” with him.
There’s no way this man should be in charge of an entire police force.