Utah police officer’s wife, accused of posting racist comment online, was impersonated, department says

The person who left the comment has impersonated other people in the past, too.

FILE - This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass. The wife of a Utah police officer has been cleared after an internal investigation by the Kaysville Police Department and a criminal investigation by an outside agency concluded that racist comments posted online were the work of someone impersonating her. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

The wife of a Utah police officer got into trouble in May after she appeared to have posted a racist comment on an online article saying she supported the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Her husband was placed on leave and the couple received death threats.

Throughout it all, she maintained that she hadn’t posted the racist comment and was being impersonated.

Now, an investigation by the department has concluded that her account is true.

The Kaysville Police Department announced on Facebook on Wednesday that their internal investigation and a criminal investigation by an outside agency concluded that there is no indication the officer or his wife had any involvement with the racist post. Instead, a person with a history of impersonating people they don’t like online apparently targeted the officer’s wife.

“Throughout the investigation, multiple people came forward with unsolicited information about a suspect that was believed to have created a fake account under (the officer’s) wife’s name and posting the racist comments,” reads the department’s announcement. “The investigation revealed evidence that this suspect had perpetrated these same types of offenses multiple times in the past. Evidence indicated that the suspect had done this to (the officer’s) wife as well as numerous other people that (s)he had conflicts with over the last several years.”

Her husband has been restored to his on-duty position as a result of the investigation, which included extracting data from digital devices and subpoenaing records from private companies.

Many people commented on the Facebook post saying they were happy that the couple’s names have been cleared. Some thanked the department for taking racism seriously, while others said they didn’t think a husband should be punished for something his wife has allegedly done.

The officer’s wife has since testified in support of a Utah bill that would enact criminal penalties for people who impersonate other people online. That bill is currently awaiting a final vote in the Senate.