An anti-trans Facebook post that described police officers shooting a trans woman was posted to the Hopedale Police Department’s page late Tuesday night. Hopedale’s police chief says the department’s account was hacked, and that the department did not write the post.
Chief Mark Giovanella said in a statement Wednesday that the department is working with cybersecurity officials and Facebook to get the post taken down. He told WHDH on Wednesday that the department was locked out of its Facebook account.
The message in the post “does not align with the values, principles, or professionalism of our police department,” the chief said in the statement. “The posted message was a hoax designed to cause shock and alarm to our community and followers.”
The post told a story in which Hopedale police discovered a trans woman doing drugs in a women’s bathroom. They then supposedly opened fire on her, and were later “slandered by the liberal media” for what they had done. The post repeatedly implied that the trans woman was not a woman.
The department had their Facebook page taken down Wednesday afternoon, but by 7 p.m. that day, both the page and the post were back up. A spokesperson for the department said she did not know how or why the page was back up, and that the department has “no idea” who was responsible for the hack.
“We can assure our community we are aggressively addressing this issue, and we will continue to provide the services to our community and followers that they are accustomed to,” Giovanella said in the statement.
No other town social media accounts or websites have been compromised, the police chief told WHDH.