The officer was not wearing his police uniform or using a department-issued firearm. Cody Kuhens/Twitter

A photo making its rounds on social media has sparked a debate on freedom of expression and police conduct.


Oelwein, Iowa, reserve police officer Jay Perkins is seen in the photo exposing his buttocks and pointing a firearm at a political yard sign supporting Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.


Perkins, a department volunteer for more than 10 years, was off-duty at the time the photo was taken and was not in a police uniform or using a department-issued firearm.


“While we support the right of freedom of speech and expression, we encourage our staff to do so with professionalism,” Chief Jeremy Logan told the Des Moines Register. “Jay Perkins has been a dedicated and sound volunteer for our community and this action does not reflect what we have seen from him in prior years. We take matters such as this seriously as we understand the impact that this can have on the trust that is placed upon us by the public."


Logan added that the incident prompted an “internal review.”