Pastors protest Dayton officer’s social media post about dead man

A group of local pastors and concerned citizens on Tuesday called for the firing of a Dayton officer who made social media comments about the man found dead in a garage after being missing in a suspected kidnapping months ago.

Representatives of the group met at the McKinley Church in Dayton in what was described as the first of a series of planned protests.

Earlier this month, police identified human remains found inside a Dayton garage as 40-year-old Kwasi Casey. Prior to this, his family had been looking for him, and his kidnapping has been under investigation since early July.

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The officer under fire for the social media post — Timothy Liddy, who is already on leave for an unrelated issue — said it was “karma that Kwasi Casey was found dead.”

The post angered members of Casey’s family and in the community, particularly those in the black community, according to Pastor Chad White. He said the protests will circulate to other churches and community centers in the area.

White said that anyone posting such an inflammatory statement would under any normal circumstance be fired.

“If you did something that was culturally insensitive or involved implicit bias, you would probably be fired,” he said. “We are demanding again that this officer be fired.”

White said cultural sensitivity and implicit bias training should be ramped up in the police department for all employees.

Ex-Cons for Community and Social Change Ohio Director Tyrone Martin said the nature of the social post involved an officer not meeting a standard that should be set for any officer.

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“Officer Liddy is a real danger to the community,” Martin said. “With this type of person in our community, we don’t know if he will plant things on people or write false reports. We need for him to be fired immediately.”

The group released a statement stating: “Regardless of Officer Liddy’s assessment of his lifestyle, Kwasi was a human being with a family and loved ones who are completely devastated by his violent and horrific death. Their grief is complicated and protracted by crude and irresponsible comments on Facebook that clearly violate the city of Dayton’s social media policy.”

Residents Etta Edwards, Libby Sanders and Michael Motley were at the church. They said they support the police, but explained when an officer runs afoul of rules and regulations, they should be terminated.

“We support police, but not this action,” Edwards said. “I hope this message is clear and is spread to all of the churches around.”

Sanders agreed, adding, “There has already been training for bias. It is time to fire him (Liddy).”

Motley said respect is important and this is an example of a lack of that.

“There has to be a 360-degree change in how we treat each other,” Motley said. “This is about respect for the community and not about race.”

Following the meeting and prior to the downtown event, Bishop Richard Cox said too many incidents locally and nationally leave communities wondering why poor police behavior is tolerated.

“We keep going down this road with no end in sight,” he said. “The officer should be fired and that would send the right message.”

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The Dayton Daily News obtained Liddy’s personnel file, which revealed a 63-day suspension in 2008 for abuse of sick leave and included conduct unbecoming an employee in the public service, which extended to a finding of incompetency, inefficiency or neglect of duty.

Since then, Liddy had no disciplinary issues, according to the file. It does not explain his current leave.

Dayton Police said it is their mission “to bring the person or persons who harmed Mr. Casey to justice.”

The department said an administrative investigation has been started looking into the social media post and the officer.

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The department repeated Tuesday a statement made earlier about its core values.

“The social media comment that was made by an officer, who has been on extended leave since May 2019, does not reflect the values of this department, nor does it reflect how we handle any kidnapping or violent crime case,” the department stated. “If someone is kidnapped, it is a priority to find them. If someone has been the victim of a violent crime, it is a priority to find the perpetrators.”

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