Reynoldsburg Police Officer Fired Over Racially-Charged Social Media Posts

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A Reynoldsburg police officer was fired for posts on her personal Facebook page considered racist and culturally offensive.

48-year-old Katherine Mielke shared a cartoon that showed a black person with overly exaggerated facial features and corn rows, being arrested near a violent crime scene while a crowd of onlookers, with similar features, complained about alleged police brutality.  That’s according to an investigative report obtained by 10TV under a public records request.  

The report also stated Mielke shared a joke on her personal Facebook page captioned, “Chinese Sick Leave,” which made fun of a communication breakdown by a Chinese man who struggled with the English language.

The report states several people in the community first noticed the Facebook posts.  Those complaints were brought to the attention of another Reynoldsburg Police Officer, who ultimately filed a formal discrimination complaint with the police department.

Charges and Explanation of Police Chief’s recommendation for termination

After the City Of Reynoldsburg’s Office of Human Resources reviewed the complaint, Douglas E. Duckett, of Duckett Law Firm LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio, was hired to conduct the interviews to determine if there was a discrimination issue the city needed to address and to make a recommendation on how to address the issue.

Mielke had been employed by the City of Reynoldsburg as a Police Officer for 22 years. With the exception of a brief stint as a Sergeant, Mielke has served as an officer during her tenure. She also served as a School Resource Officer.  At the time of her termination, she was a patrol officer.

10TV filed a public request for Mielke’s personnel file.  The officer received several commendations and accolades for her work and commitment to the Reynoldsburg community.  Mielke was well known throughout the community and especially among parents who knew of her work as a school resource officer.   Mielke’s familiarity with the community was cited as a reason why her personal posts would have the potential for long-term, irreversible damage to the City of Reynoldsburg and the Reynoldsburg Division of Police.