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Boston Police Fires Officers After Anti-Vax Protests and January 6 Posts

  Two   Boston   police officers are out of the job in an apparent crackdown on vocal opposition to COVID vaccine mandates and   January 6  ...

 Two Boston police officers are out of the job in an apparent crackdown on vocal opposition to COVID vaccine mandates and January 6 social media posts.

Boston police Commissioner Michael Cox announced Sgt. Shana Cottone and Officer Joseph Abasciano were fired on Monday. Both ousted cops hired legal representation and plan to appeal the firings, according to GBH News.

Cottone leads Boston First Responders United and participated in anti-vaccine mandate protests with other members outside the home of Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu and elsewhere. In his statement, Cox said Cottone was found to have repeatedly violated several rules and procedures after six separate internal investigations over charges related to conduct, neglect of duty, respectful treatment, and public opinions.

“Cottone’s conduct in these cases reflects a pattern and inability to adhere to the rules and procedures of this department,” said Cox, who also noted Cottone’s “disciplinary history” was taken under consideration.

Abasciano, a retired Marine who was on paid medical leave, participated in “Back the Blue” rallies and also demonstrated against vaccine mandates. However it appears his firing concerns tweets criticizing former Vice President Mike Pence for not trying to stop President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory on January 6, 2021.

The tweets, from a “Mailbox Joe” alias, accused Pence of treason. One particular missive directed at the vice president said, “I hope you never sleep well again,” according to CBS News.

“While in the Department’s employ, Abasciano authored a series of social media posts that called into question his ability to provide police services in an unbiased and objective manner,” Cox said. “Abasciano’s conduct impairs the operation of this Department and its employees by diminishing the Departments’ reputation and trust within the community. Due to this Mr. Abasciano is no longer a Boston Police officer.”

Cottone’s group, Boston First Responders United, released a statement claiming the cases against Cottone and Abasciano were “politically motivated and retaliation for speaking out in support of personal choice and freedom of speech.”

Abasciano told the Associated Press he was fired based on a “nonexistent social media policy,” and blamed a “clear cut case of political targeting, police/union corruption, retaliation and discrimination which ultimately boils down to my First Amendment rights being violated.”

During an appearance on Boston Public Radio, Wu said she supports Cox’s decision to fire the officers. “Each has a separate set of actions that was detailed [and] investigated,” she added.

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