A Massachusetts State Police trooper who fired his gun at a group of dirt bike and ATV riders on Interstate 93, leaving one of them injured, has reportedly displayed a history of racist behavior on the internet.
The Boston Globe reports that Matthew Sheehan, who was on leave after the shooting of 28-year-old Aderito Monteiro of Randolph, made racist posts on the website "MassCops," a law enforcement forum, dating back to 2012. Following the report, Massachusetts State Police confirmed the posts were under review and would be discussed in an internal hearing Friday that could result in him being suspended without pay for the remainder of the shooting investigation.
"The tone and nature of these posts are repugnant and clearly do not reflect the values, ideals and opinions of the Massachusetts State Police," the department said in a statement.
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"The fact that those posts and the vulgarity of them date back five, six, seven years — this is not an isolated incident. This is an ongoing collection of thoughts and comments that have no place in law enforcement, no place in public discussion, no place in our community, period," Gov. Charlie Baker said. "If those posts were issued by someone of the state police that are clearly a violation of the code of conduct, he or she should be fired."
Using the screenname "Big Irish," the Globe reports that Sheehan included information that has been verified as his own. Big Irish's posts ranted about criminals and people of color, using terms like "deadbeats," "baby's momma's," "gang banging," "EBT receiving," "non GED getting" and "crack smoking." The user referred to people attending a vigil after a police shooting as "None of Your Bidzness Rapper's Delight Association."
"[Expletive] the people of Mission Hill and Roxbury!! They don't give a rats ass about us," Big Irish wrote in one post.
"I guess this [expletive] won't be heading to the pols in November to vote and keep his EBT card," he wrote in another about the death of Burrell Ramsey-White, who was shot by Boston Police after he allegedly aimed a loaded gun at an officer.
The Globe reports that a large part of one post, attacking a woman identifying herself as the sister of a man who caused a fatal car crash during a Brockton police chase, was too obscene to print.
"We're all glad you got to post a reply before you headed down to the corner for the night to turn tricks," he wrote. "Make sure you wear protection you dirty slut!!! Of course your brother is educated. He was the biggest one in the 5th grade class at age 25!!!!"
He also allegedly referred to that woman as a crack-smoking baby momma.
Sheehan is currently on leave while authorities investigate the Feb. 24 incident in which he fired his weapon at a group of 23 to 25 riders of off-road bikes, motorcycles and ATVS on Interstate 93. Officials say those suspects were riding recklessly through Boston, resulting in multiple 911 calls. Police confronted the group on the highway, and Monteiro allegedly drove his ATV at Sheehan before the trooper fired.
Monteiro sustained a minor foot injury and was arrested on charges that included negligent operation, failure to stop for police and disorderly conduct.
Monteiro was ordered held on $2,000 bail.