Grand Chute Police investigating officer who wrote racially-offensive social media posts as a teenager

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 5:50 PM CDT
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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - The Grand Chute Police Department confirms it’s investigating an officer after a social media post revealed offensive tweets he made several years ago as a teenager.

A month ago, an anonymous tip was sent to the police department of a series of tweets containing variations of the N-word and homophobic comments.

The internal investigation shows Officer Bryce La Luzerne posted tweets containing variations of the N-word between 2011 and 2014 when he was 16 to 18 years old.

Police supervisors looked into the posts which were made years before the department hired him. He told supervisors the tweets were taken from song lyrics, which the investigation was able to confirm. La Luzerne said the lyrics don’t represent his views.

The department says a review of the officer’s conduct during 50 arrests, using records and body camera footage, found no difference in the way he treated people of different races while on the job and no evidence of bias in his policing. The posts themselves don’t fall under the department’s code of conduct because they were written before La Luzerne was a police officer.

The police department says investigation became more complicated when the person who anonymously created a Facebook page sharing La Luzerne’s tweets stopped responding to Facebook messages from investigators.

Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson said La Luzerne’s privacy rights and right to appeal would have prevented the department from releasing information about the investigation but La Luzerne agreed to waive those rights, saying he believes it was in the best interests of the community to make the summary information public.

The department plans to release an official report later this month.

A protest demanding La Luzerne’s firing is planned for Sunday in Grand Chute.

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