One of the two teen girls in the video is a family member of a Mason City police officer. A statement released by Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says the department does not support the action in any way and they’ve worked diligently to build relationships in the community and to improve the diversity of the organization.
Brinkley says they’ve conferred with the county attorney’s office about the matter. He says the department believes the content of the post is protected by free speech rights in the First Amendment. He adds, while the content has been offensive to nearly everyone who has seen it, First Amendment speech is limited only in time, place and manner by law enforcement authorities.
Brinkley says they’ve asked the Clear Lake Police Department to further investigate the matter to avoid any conflict of interest.
The Mason City Community School District also released a statement, saying it’s their highest priority to ensure the ongoing safety of students and staff at the schools and to be responsive to and supportive of all the needs of students. They encourage parents to talk with children about their use of social media and the implications it can have on their family, friends, classmates and the community.
(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)