Two New Jersey cops are facing an internal affairs investigation after trolling discussions on Facebook with false accusations about a 22-year-old murder victim.
Raymar Lecky was killed on New Year's Eve after a drunken dispute with a friend about a girl. Lecky, who was trying to start a career as a club promoter, had a couple run ins with the law when he was younger. Three years prior, just 19, he was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, but the charges were later downgraded and "remanded to municipal court," according to the Star Ledger. In May, Lecky got busted for drug possession.
Facebook became a natural place to discuss the circumstances around the young man's death. "I honestly feel horrible for his parents. But what was he doin down in Newark at 330 am anyway?!" one commenter wrote. Newark is about a 15-minute drive from West Orange and is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.
Soon two people identifying themselves as Karen Roach and William Mango jumped into the thread. They accused Lecky of being a gang member with a long criminal history. What Facebook users didn't know was that those two commenters were actually West Orange police officers. Not only were they spreading false information about Lecky, but they were breaking the office's social-media policy. Officers are prohibited from posting anything related to their duties on social networks.
"Live by the gun die by the gun BOOM," Mango wrote. When others complained that the two shouldn't be saying such "rude things" about someone who'd just been murdered, the cops shot back. "U don't know shit," Mango told one commenter. That post has since been deleted, but an anonymous source provided screengrabs to the Star-Ledger.
It's not clear if Mango and Roach are the officers’ real names or just handles they used on Facebook. West Orange police captain John Buoye did confirm to the Star-Ledger that the two were indeed police officers, though he wouldn't reveal their identities. Both are patrol officers; Mango is a 19-year veteran, while Roach has been with the department for more than seven years.
"Raymar was the kind of kid who if you were sick, he would get up and carry food to you," a relative told the Star-Ledger. "He’d always reach out his hand to help those who had less."
The same relative said Lecky had been a frequent victim of police harassment before his death.
Photo by davidsonscott15/Flickr