Updated: September 28, 2020 05:14 PM
Created: September 28, 2020 04:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A University of New Mexico police officer who posted a controversial video on social media will get to keep his job.
The officer was placed on administrative leave earlier this month after a video on TikTok surfaced. The now-deleted ten second clip posted on the officer’s account showed a Hispanic man laying tile. The audio over the video, which was from an episode of “South Park”, is what sparked the controversy.
“Scanning for Mexicans. We’ve got a Mexican,” the clip said.
UNM student body senator Edgar Corona Castañeda is one of many students who found the video offensive and racist.
“Seeing somebody who is employed to supposedly protect the students that go there, and the students being majority Hispanic, and for him to post a video like this—that’s blatantly racist against the majority of the school. To me, it’s just disappointing not just to UNMPD and how they do their hiring, but how they keep track of their employees and keep them in check,” Castañeda said.
UNM President Garnett Stoked tweeted about the incident earlier this month, saying that the university was aware of the incident and has launched an investigation.
We are aware of the social media incident related to one of our UNMPD officers, and are investigating immediately and appropriately. @UNM and @unmpd stand against racism and social injustice. Respect and diversity are part of our culture, values and who we are as Lobos.— Garnett S. Stokes (@PresidentStokes) September 4, 2020
Now, UNM officials said they’ve concluded their investigation and put the officer back on the job.
“The investigation has been concluded and appropriate disciplinary action has been taken. The officer remains employed with UNMPD,” read a statement from a UNM spokesperson in part.
Some students like Castañeda said they feel that the officer’s punishment should have been more severe and that the university’s actions send the wrong message.
“I think UNM PD, UNM, President Stokes, essentially reinforcing and encouraging this kind of behavior and it really shocked me to be honest. I expected the officer to at least lose his job,” he said.
The university did not specify what discipline the officer received.
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