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Officer on leave after alleged racial incident

Officer Robert Wirt with his dog, Gabe.
By Cindy Yingst, Thursday, June 25, 2020

A senior Warrenton police officer is on administrative leave after witnesses said they saw him mocking George Floyd, whose death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has sparked worldwide protests.

Robert Wirt, the department’s K-9 officer, was with buddies at Bubba’s Sports Bar when he began poking fun at the case and saying “I can’t breathe” while a friend held his neck, according to a Facebook post by Jessie Salcedo, who wrote that he was at the bar with a friend when they overheard the exchange.

“A Facebook post was forwarded to me Sunday morning that he and some buddies were mocking, doing a gesture that the poster believed was mocking George Floyd,” Chief Matt Workman said. “We’re taking it seriously.”

The city has hired an independent person to investigate the case and Wirt was put on leave Monday, where he’ll remain until the investigation is complete.

“It’s an allegation at this point. And it’s really disappointing. … We have pretty high tensions in the country right now,” Workman said.

The Facebook post drew many angry responses and calls to “get him fired for this.” Bubba’s owner Robert Fulton even responded to the post.

“Just so you guys know, Bubba’s is not going to put up with that. We will do whatever we can… Those two are not welcome back. I am so sorry that happened at Bubba’s.”


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