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Canton officer suspended amid investigation into alleged racist Facebook comment

Canton Police Department launches internal investigation

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A Canton police officer has been suspended with pay amid an investigation into racist remarks he is accused of making against black people on Facebook.

UPDATE: Canton officer resigns after alleged racist Facebook comment

The officer being investigated is Kenneth Kleszcz. He is being investigated after allegedly telling African Americans to "go home monkeys" during a live feed of an election protest.

Canton police said they were made aware of the allegation around 9:30 a.m. Friday and launched an internal investigation. The Police Department said they found the comment very disturbing.

"At approximately 9:30 this morning, the Canton Public Safety Department was made aware of a racial social media post allegedly posted by an officer of the Canton Police Department," a spokesman said. "An internal investigation into the post was immediately initiated and the officer, a one-year veteran of the department, was subsequently suspended pending the completion of the investigation."

Kleszcz joined the Canton Police Department in May 2015.

He joined the Detroit Police Department on July 23, 2013, before leaving in May 2015.

One administration official told Local 4 that the officer will get due process and that they are making sure the officer made the comments. The department also said it wants to be transparent in this probe and that the comments have no place in and are no reflection of the Canton Police Department.

"The Canton Public Safety Department holds our employees to the highest of standards, and this type of behavior is not representative of the beliefs or core values of this organization," a spokesman said.

You can watch the full statement from officials below.

Kleszcz's introductory press release has been removed from the CPD website. Here is the Canton police statement from when he was hired:

"Two new police officers sworn in today

May 18, 2015, Canton, MI – The Canton Police Department welcomes its newest police officers, Kenneth Kleszcz and XXXXX XXXXX, to the department. Both new officers took their Oaths of Office this morning with friends and family present.

All new police officers in Canton are required to successfully complete a 16-week instructor-led field training program, prior to working on their own. This program is designed to orientate and develop recruit officers, maximizing their potential and providing them with the tools necessary to successfully make the transition into their new position as a Canton Police Officer."

Local 4's Shawn Ley will continue to update the story throughout the day.

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