A WA Police officer is under investigation over claims he posted racist comments in response to a protest by Aboriginal activists to change the date of Australia Day.
Threatening statements posted on January 26 appeared to endorse violence towards the demonstrators.
“What a pity automatic weapons aren’t legal in this state,” the comments read.
“Oh well, there’s always single shot rifles and sharp knives. Your days are numbered.”
The remarks were linked to a Facebook account apparently belonging to Senior Constable Terry Bodenham.
After another Facebook user challenged the comments, the tirade took a more racially-motivated turn.
“I pay taxes so dole-bludging, oxygen thieving pieces of [expletive] like you go from the cradle to the grave with your hand out,” the comments read.
“You’re never satisfied with anything: always wanting more and when you’re told no, out pops the racist card. I [don’t] know who’s worse, the whining black fellas who think the world owes them a living or the white trash that go along for the ride.”
A member of the public formally complained to WA Police four days after the comments were posted.
Another complaint was made last week.
WA Police said the officer was extended leave at the time the post was written and the initial complaint was made.
“The officer has only returned to duty in recent days, so investigators have not had the opportunity to ask him directly if this is his account and if he made the comments,” a spokeswoman told NITV News.
“The intent is to conduct these inquiries as soon as possible.”
Local media have reported that other comments posted from the account appear to have racist intent.
One post described two intoxicated people as “rock apes” and part of the “oxygen thieving race”.
Another expressed anger at the TV show Go Back to Where You Came From.
WA Police’s social media policy advises officers to use “appropriate caution” when using private social media platforms.
Breaches of policy can result in managerial intervention or disciplinary action.
The claims come two weeks after WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson formally apologised for the mistreatment of Indigenous people by law enforcement.