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RCMP is reviewing the online behaviour of a police officer in Kamloops who made blackface jokes while receiving skincare treatment, according to Global News.
Const. Rupert Meinke added a photo on Instagram while receiving a black skincare face mask. He captioned the photo: "Black face session. It’s supposed to help my looks. I don’t think it’s working" he said, adding a laughing cry emoji.
In a second photo, Meinke can be seen with the mask fully covering his face. The caption reads: "Is my skin care racist? Micro aggressions matter."
According to Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, a "review into the incident" is taking place concerning the posts, which were made in May 2020.
Meinke’s Instagram account has now been changed from “public” to “private” and it is not clear whether the posts have been removed at this time.
"The review remains ongoing and will seek to determine further context, as well as a greater picture of the social media profile in question," said Shoihet.
Chad Haggerty, a former RCMP officer, said the posts were racially insensitive—especially because of when they were posted.
"Any time it is a bad joke, especially now, when police are under intense scrutiny because of racial interactions," he noted. "It just boggles my mind that any officer would post this on a public, easily-accessible platform."
Haggerty, who served for 17 years in the RCMP and is Métis, said more sensitivity training is needed for officers.
"The RCMP needs to go outside of its ranks and recruit individuals that have specific training in dealing with racial issues, racial education," he added.
Previously, Meinke was a part time police and justice teacher at Thompson Rivers University located in Kamloops.
He no longer works at TRU though Darshan Lindsay, a university spokesperson said that the school is also "looking into" the incident.
"Our commitment is to create a university where everyone belongs, where we show our respect for one another through our actions and in our words," Lindsay said.