Protesters want Bartow Police Officer fired after calling former President Obama a “gorilla”

BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Bartow Police Officer is under fire after a post from her personal Facebook page.

Thursday, a group of protesters lined the sidewalk outside of the Bartow Police Department to demand the firing of Bartow Police Officer Christina Arribas.

Arriba’s Facebook post.

Back in November, a citizen complained to the Bartow Police Department about a post originating from Arribas’ personal Faceook page, in which she goes by the name Chrissy GillRakers.

The post was “Yes!!! This year we lost two gorillas. One is in heaven, and one is moving out of the White House. One will be missed. One will not be.”

“It made me question this kind of person on the streets. How are they dealing with blacks?” Pastor Clayton Cowart said.

Thursday, he organized a protest with dozens of people outside of the Bartow Police Department, calling for Arribas to be fired.

“It’s disappointing for a police officer. It’s disappointing for a chief who will not hold her accountable for her statements,” Cowart said.

Read: State attorney letter to Arribas

One by one the protesters delivered a pile of bananas at the front desk for Chief Joe Hall and Officer Arribas.

“Every time they eat a banana I want them to remember the statement that was made. You know, gorillas and monkeys they’ve been known to have an appetite for bananas,” Cowart said.

Back in December, Arribas was suspended for two days, not for the post, rather for being pictured on her Facebook in her Bartow Police uniform, which is against the department’s social media policy.

All of News Channel 8’s requests were turned to the city attorney Sean Parker, who declined to comment, other than to say the matter is closed.

He also said the basis of the discipline was her violation of the social media policy, wearing her uniform in a photo on social media, not the comment.

After protests and news coverage Thursday, State Attorney Brian Haas was made aware of the post and sent a letter to Arribas, removing her ability to testify in state cases.

Arribas has been with the department for ten years. She is currently a patrol and training officer.


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