Trooper under investigation for Facebook posts about Newtown

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2013, file photo, a bus traveling from Newtown, Conn., to Monroe stops near 26 angel signs posted along the roadside in Monroe, Conn., on the first day of classes for Sandy Hook Elementary School students since the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting. The massacre in Newtown, in which a mentally troubled young man killed 26 children and teachers, served as a rallying cry for gun-control advocates across the nation. But in the three years since, many states have moved in the opposite direction, embracing the National Rifle Association’s axiom that more “good guys with guns” are needed to deter mass shootings. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

MONTVILLE, Conn. (AP) — State police have launched an internal affairs investigation into a trooper over Facebook postings with graphic language about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, authorities said Thursday.

Officials are looking into whether Trooper Jeffrey Rogers violated the state police social media policy. Trooper Kelly Grant, a state police spokeswoman, confirmed the investigation.

Rogers, a 17-year veteran of the police force who is assigned to Troop E in Montville, did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment.

The Hartford Courant reported that a series of postings appeared on Rogers’ Facebook page this week in an apparent response to a story in another newspaper, The Day of New London, about his candidacy for a seat on the Montville Town Council.

The posts appeared to defend Rogers’ record as a trooper, saying he responded to the Newtown school, where 20 first-graders and six educators were shot to death in 2012, the Courant reported. The posts mentioned the aftermath of the shooting and the state’s chief medical examiner at the time, Dr. Wayne Carver.

“Sandy Hook … for you news … for me baggage I was there,” the posts said, according to the Courant. “I watched as those children were taken from the school stacked like cord wood. I watched Dr. Carver walk through the scene like a butcher through a slaughter house.”

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which oversees state police, has a social media policy that allows freedom of expression as long as it is not “detrimental to DESPP, does not impair the work of DESPP, damage the reputation of another, disparage, embarrass or otherwise discredit DESPP, its personnel of any of its units or functions.”

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