Aaron McNamara is a young auxiliary officer at the Fairview Park police department [Update: "was" an auxiliary officer with Fairview police; he resigned less than an hour after this story was posted], climbing up the law enforcement ladder as he finishes his college degree this semester with dreams of becoming a federal agent, he says. On social media, he says he's gone through training with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and this June he tweeted he was "Officially sworn in with the Fairview Park Police Department. Wow, this feels good. #DreamChasing."
He also has many thoughts about African Americans.
Over the past two years, McNamara has been commenting on YouTube videos — mostly about black people and law enforcement — regularly dropping racial and gay slurs, unambiguously expressing hatred towards minorities and anyone who dare not comply with what police say. He calls black people in videos "jungle monkeys," "spooks," and worse. He commented on a video of a young black child swearing, saying "This is how cop killers are raised my friends." He's also a fan of when police officers shoot and rough up non-compliant civilians. The comments appeared on his Youtube and Google+ accounts that were deleted yesterday (we'll explain in a bit). Here's a selection:
On Feb. 28 of this year, McNamara comments on a video called "Hood fight":
"Abolishing slavery was the worst thing we could have done. These people should be exterminated.. Unbelievable."
On a video called "State park fight":
"I wish I could go back to their age and beat the living shit out of that nigger with the tapout shirt."
On a video called "Cameras capture brutal cop taking down agent Derrick while bicycling home":
"THE COPS WERE DOING THEIR JOBS!
YOU WANTED TO BE MR. FUNNY GUY AND NOT STOP!
AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE FUCKING PATHETIC AND IGNORANT FOR ASKING THE SAME QUESTION OVER AND OVER 'WHY IS HE BEING ARRESTED?!' BECAUSE THE FEMININE FAGGOT WAS ELUDING THE POLICE AND FAILING TO STOP! DUMB ASS GENERATION!"
On a video called "Seattle Police: 'You are going to die'"
"YOU CAN TAKE THE SPOOK OUT OF THE HOOD BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HOOD OUT OF THE SPOOK. BY SPOOK I MEAN THAT TALL NIGGER IN THE WHITE TEE WHO LOST HIS GANG BANGING BROTHER WHO OBVIOUSLY DID SOME SHIT TO GET HIS BITCH ASS SHOT UP."
On November 28, in a story about the death of Tamir Rice, McNamara opined that "it is absolutely ridiculous that the police are criticized for this!" and that his parents should be charged with murder:
We brought up the accounts to McNamara via direct messages on Twitter. He denied that they were his, saying "That is not my account" and "I'm not the only Aaron McNamara in this world."
But here's how we know the YouTube and Google+ commenter "Aaron McNamara" is the same Aaron McNamara at the Fairview Park police department: He regularly commented on videos that he lives in the Cleveland area and was training to be cop. And on the same account, he uploaded a video of himself — showing a clear picture of his face, unmistakably the person on his recent social media accounts — and titled it with his full first, middle and last names. His full name matches up.
After his denials, that information was brought up to McNamara. He then blocked us on Twitter, locked that account from public view — changing his header picture of him in uniform to a skyline shot of Cleveland — and deleted his Instagram profile. Even more damning, however, those Youtube and Google+ accounts were deactivated and deleted within minutes; the same accounts he said were not from him.
Yesterday, after we confirmed it was the same person (and he deleted everything), we reached out to Fairview Park police chief Erich Upperman for comment and included the texts of many of McNamara's comments included in this to let him know what was coming. Here's his response:
The City of Fairview Park does not tolerate this type of conduct from any person working or volunteering for this city. This is the first we are hearing of this and it will be immediately and appropriately investigated. During his brief tenure with our agency, the volunteer never displayed any prejudicial leanings, nor did any arise during his background check.
We are requesting that you provide to us any and all documents, videos or pictures that have been used for this story so that we can investigate fully. Please include the screen/account names so we may review the social media posts (Instagram,Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) and verify how they are connected to this volunteer, particularly since you have indicated some of the accounts have been deleted.
Fairview Park Police Department
On his previously public Twitter account, McNamara has chimed in about the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson, stating on Nov. 26 "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6," and stating of protesters "You'll burn the American flag but you're quick to cash that Obama check! Parasites." He has many more tweets of that ilk.
Here are a few more screenshots from the Youtube account he deleted yesterday:
If further proof is needed that the YouTube commenter and the auxiliary officer are the same person, here's a side-by-side comparison of a video uploaded three years ago — his full name included — on the same YouTube account that comments came from and an Instagram photo McNamara posted this year. (That video was shown to McNamara via Twitter direct message and he said "Looks identical to me? That kid is about 80lbs smaller.")
***UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.
I, Aaron McNamara was recently informed of the racial remarks I posted on Youtube.com in my juvenile years. The comments I made in those particular videos were a product of my youth and immaturity; by no means am I a prejudice individual. I am an advocate for equality, and I am highly disappointed in myself for the statements I had previously made. I cannot recollect of the most recent comment I was accused of making in February, 2014, but I am not denying the claim.
By no means do the comments I had previously made represent the beliefs of the Fairview Park Police Dept. I have striven to the best of my capabilities to support the city of Fairview Park, and help better community relations with all individuals, from all walks of life.
At my current age of (20), I am ashamed of myself for making those particular remarks, and I am extremely regretful of it. if there was any way possible I could retract those statements, I would be glad to do so.
All prejudice remarks were strictly on Youtube.com. I have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and I have never made a racial slur on any of those networks.
I am also confirming that I am resigning from the Fairview Park Police Auxiliary Unit.
And here's a press release sent by the police department this afternoon:
After close of business yesterday, an email was received from Doug Brown, Staff writer at Cleveland Scene Magazine, concerning racially charged comments made by a member of our volunteer auxiliary force and posted to the internet.
An investigation was immediately initiated and a request was sent to Mr Brown asking him to provide any and all information, including user/account names, video, pictures and posts. This request was sent so that we could verify that the author of the posts was indeed our volunteer, as it was indicated by Mr. Brown that all accounts had been closed and no longer able to be viewed online. That information has not yet been received.
Volunteers in the Auxiliary Force are non-sworn members with no arrest authority. They assist with parades, traffic control, service oriented calls and locking up our parks. The volunteer had been with our agency less than six months and was not yet even allowed out on his own, having only put in 45 hours in the last 5 months.
The City of Fairview Park does not tolerate this type of conduct from any person working or volunteering for this city. During his brief tenure with our agency, the volunteer never displayed any prejudicial leanings, nor did any arise during his background check. In the course of the investigation, he was interviewed, and upon it's conclusion, was asked to resign. He is no longer a member of our agency."