Marietta Police Chief Marty Ferrell released a statement today addressing posts on social media about an internal affairs investigation of a Marietta Police Major who has been accused of racism.
Below is Ferrell’s statement in its entirety.
“Some individuals have been posting on our social media pages about an Internal Affairs investigation we recently concluded involving Major Patrick Bonito. A grievance was filed by two Officers roughly one month ago including express or implied racism from Major Bonito toward black officers under his command. We conducted a multi-week, thorough investigation, and found no evidence of any inappropriate actions or comments from Major Bonito toward any employee. Make no mistake, racism will not be tolerated by our agency, internally or externally.
“There are limits to what parts of the investigation can be made public, but rest assured numerous employees were interviewed as part of this comprehensive investigation. Major Bonito admitted to stating an inappropriate derogatory racial term, in general, not directed toward any employee, roughly ten years ago. He also admitted to talking about that incident, and his regret for it to coworkers roughly five years ago. Based on the facts and totality of the investigation, I have transferred Major Bonito to a different shift, removed him from leadership of multiple special units, and suspended him for (40) hours without pay. He will also be required to attend multiple training classes related to the findings of the internal affairs investigation.
“The Marietta Police Department takes allegations like this very seriously and we appreciate the officers who brought forward their concerns. It is unclear who created the anonymous social media accounts and began posting about this serious issue. We do not plan to engage anyone in those posts and trust you can see my goal is to be as transparent as possible. Racism will not be tolerated under my command.”