Chief Steve Anderson Friday afternoon directed that Hermitage Precinct midnight shift Officer Anthony Venable be immediately decommissioned pending the results of an internal investigation into a post he made from his personal Facebook account referencing the police-involved shooting in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
The Hermitage Precinct covers part of Antioch.
Hermitage Precinct supervisors became aware of the post at 3 p.m., in which Venable, during a Facebook conversation, wrote, “Yeah. I would have done 5,” an apparent reference to the number of shots in the Minnesota case. When questioned by a supervisor late this afternoon, Venable acknowledged the post, but said it was a form of sarcasm directed at a person with whom he was electronically conversing on Facebook.
The Office of Professional Accountability has begun an investigation into the specific posting and Venable’s Facebook conversation.
“The police department is treating this matter very seriously and took immediate action, regardless of what he claims the context to have been,” Chief Anderson said.
Venable has been with the police department for eight years.