Officer Robert Schellhorn of the Orlando Police was suspended for 80 hours following a Facebook rant where he admittedly used “unbelievably hateful language” in reference to black athletes who kneel during the National Anthem. At an arbitration hearing, Schellhorn pushed for a lighter punishment of 16 hours, but was apologetic for his words, which he claims he did not realize were viewable by the public. The remarks were made in the comments section of someone else’s Facebook post.
In discussing black athletes who kneel during the anthem, Schellhorn said, “what exactly are the ‘black rights’ that these useless savages are standing up for??? Do black folks somehow have different or greater rights then [sic] everyone else?” He also referred to athletes as “overpaid thugs.”
“Believe me, I have now learned that is not the word to use,” Schellhorn said. “But that is the kind of word I use. Instead of calling somebody a dumbass or a kunucklehead or something along those lines, ‘savages’ is the word I use.”
Indeed, an October 2017 investigation of a past incident reportedly revealed body camera footage that showed Schellhorn using pepper spray on patrons of a gay nightclub and using that same word directed towards them.
Still, he was apologetic.
“Regrettably, I used unbelievably hateful language,” he said.
Schellhorn claimed that at the time, he was sensitive to criticism of police following the deaths of fellow officers who were fatally shot.
[Image via WFTV screengrab]