NEW CITY – Protesters gathered outside of the Rockland County Sheriff’s office on Friday afternoon to demand that Sheriff Louis Falco III be removed from office after sharing a “racist” article on his personal Facebook page.
The story, which was originally posted by DailyArchives.org, recounted the fatal shooting of a 13-month-old child by two African American teenagers in Brunswick, Georgia.
The article incorrectly reported the 2013 shooting, which police described as an attempted robbery, as a random and unmotivated hate crime while using what protestors called “racist” and “derogatory” language.
The Reverend Everett Newton is among those condemning Falco.
“As my right as a pastor and a prophet of truth, to say that a man who has been my friend and has turned his back on people of color, it was important to me to stand tall for the community and say he needs to leave office.”
The Reverend and his fellow organizers called for Falco’s resignation and the reallocation of the sheriff’s salary to community outreach programs such as public housing.
Sheriff Falco has apologized for posting the link and has professed that he intended to send it as a private message. Falco has said that he meant to send the link “to an investigator for analysis” as he is “frequently” tasked with investigating information shared on social media, according to news reports. The sheriff has deleted the article as well as his subsequent apology from his Facebook page.
Some members of the community remain unconvinced. Virginia Norfleet, founder of the “Haverstraw African American Connection,” expressed frustration at Falco’s “delayed” response to racist comments on his initial post and has alleged that this is not the first time the sheriff has shared “racist” content via social media.
Norfleet and her fellow organizers also denounced an impending protest scheduled for August 3rd in the neighboring town of Pearl River referring to the gathering as “a perpetration by some group that we do not know.”