“I don’t get paid enough to deal with this sh**.”
That was the sentiment of MBTA Transit Officer Ashley Carlson, who reportedly earns about $65,000 to protect and serve transit riders, when she allegedly posted a photo of a disabled man who soiled himself.
The man was seen curled in a fetal position partially nude with his pants near his ankles and a wheelchair nearby, according to The Boston Globe.The photo was accompanied by a profane rant.
“You think your job is sh**!!!’ This is what we responded to this morning,” Carlson, 31, reportedly wrote on her Facebook account. “This guy is well known to police and has a lengthy record. I don’t get paid enough to deal with this sh**… literally and figuratively!!!”
Now, the Globe reports that transit officials are investigating.
“We are looking into it. It’s under investigation,” Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan told the Globe. “The transit police are held to the highest standards of professionalism — the public expects it and more importantly deserves it.”
The MBTA did not return request for further information. It was unclear if Carlson would face disciplinary action.
A representative from the ACLU of Massachusetts said that the incident is a violation of the trust that is given to law enforcement officers.
“I think it’s absolutely deplorable that a public servant would expose a private individual on social media in such a humiliating and degrading way,” saidRahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts.
Hall acknowledged that there is a line between an officer’s private life and their public responsibility as an officer.
“But the fact that she posted a picture of this individual that was taken within the scope of her work crosses that line,” said Hall, adding thatauthorities should use the incident as a learning opportunity.
“Whether or not (the man in the photo) was suffering some mental or physical disability—even if it was a substance abuse—the officer still has a responsbility to know how to deal with a vulnerable population. I’d like to think officers wouldn’t need instruction on this, but this should be a moment of teaching.”