MSP director ordered to work without pay for 5 days due to Facebook post about anthem protesters

Col. Kristie Etue has pay suspended for 5 days

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Thursday that Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Etue will have her pay suspended for five days due to a social media post about NFL players who protest during the national anthem.

Snyder has ordered that Etue "have a suspension of pay for five days while reporting to work and demonstrating outstanding leadership by example for the men and women she commands."

Here is the full statement from Snyder:

"Colonel Etue posted something on social media that was inappropriate. She immediately apologized and has acted to demonstrate that apology, including facilitating meetings with various groups to hear concerns and to share the work the Michigan State Police does in cities and neighborhoods statewide to connect with the communities they serve and recruit new troopers from all backgrounds."

"I have full faith in Col. Etue’s leadership as the commander of the Michigan State Police, which I believe to be the best law enforcement body in the nation. The Colonel has served honorably as an enlisted trooper for 30 years, and I hope we can come together as Michiganders to move forward and find common ground, rather than rehash past mistakes."

Etue shared a meme on her Facebook account calling NFL players "a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates."

Etue has since apologized and met with the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus.

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"It was a mistake to share this message on Facebook, and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended," Etue said in a message released days after the post. "I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan."

She said she would not resign, and Snyder said he will not fire her.

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Snyder to review MSP standards for admission

Snyder also announced a plan to review the culture of state government across all departments and all levels of employment.

"We all live with the reality of a very divisive national environment, and we can work proactively to address that in Michigan," Snyder said. "I have long advocated for more civility in politics and in life in general. We have an opportunity for Michigan to be a model in restoring civility and showing people how we can work together, and I intend on taking advantage of that opportunity.

"If there is a problem that can be solved at the state government level, we want to solve it. What we need to solve is a broader issue that has brought up concerns of numerous examples across the state and nation that we can come together to understand and fix.

"We are the best Michigan when we are a diverse Michigan, and I will continue taking actions to ensure all state departments are working to effectively serve all residents in an impartial and inclusive manner."

Snyder said he will take the following actions during his review:

  • Reviewing and developing cultural awareness and sensitivity training guidelines
  • Convening a formal group to recommend policies regarding private social media use by state employees, including department directors and others in leadership positions
  • Implicit bias training in the Cabinet and department leadership teams
  • Working with MCOLES to require that all police officer training academies in the state instruct their recruits using the U.S. Department of Justice Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) program
  • Asking the Michigan State Police to expedite community outreach efforts of the Post Community Service Officers by scheduling community conversations statewide throughout the winter of 2018
  • Requiring a review of MSP trooper recruit practices and standards for admission
  • Integrating the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) with law enforcement to influence positive change by having increased productive dialogues and improved relationships.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.