Retired police officer suspended from work after posting burning BLM flag

ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Rebekah Tuchscherer – A contract employee for the U.S. Marshals Service has been suspended from work after posting a burning Black Lives Matter flag on his personal Facebook page.

Jeff Carlson, a retired Aberdeen Police Department and school resource officer, was suspended from his contracted position as a security officer at the District of the South Dakota Federal Courthouse. In his position, he is a contract employee for the U.S. Marshals Service. He was suspended after they were made aware of the “racially-charged social media post,” according to the public affairs office for the U.S. Marshals Service.

“The U.S. Marshals Service has a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination by any employee in our ranks, contract or federal, as it does not represent our agency’s core values of justice, integrity and service,” the U.S. Marshals Service said in an emailed statement.

Carlson’s post of the Black Lives Matters flag and his personal page are no longer available on Facebook.

Aberdeen Police Chief Dave McNeil issued a statement on Friday via the department’s Facebook page condemning retired officer’s post, writing “The posts, opinions, and statements of this retired officer do not represent the department or its current employees in any way.”

District management for U.S. Marshal’s Service referred the matter to the contract security company that employs Carlson. His work duties have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation, according to the U.S. Marshals Service public affairs office.