By Ramona du Houx
January 16, 2021
Russell Gauvin, the chief of the police force that provides security at the Maine State House apologized on January 15, 2021 for social media posts dating to last summer in which he criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and questioned the results of the November presidential election.
Following the reports of concerning social media posts made by Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin, Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau of Biddeford released the following statement:
“Like most Mainers, we have high expectations for the people in our communities who keep us safe and serve the public. We all want to know that we are being protected, no matter what our background or political leanings may be.
“We’ve shared our grave concerns with the executive branch and urged them to look into the situation. We believe that Chief Gauvin should be held accountable based on their findings. It’s important that Maine people, lawmakers and state house employees have confidence in the ability of Capitol Police and Chief Gauvin to do their job and keep people safe. This is especially true given the violence we saw unfold on the steps of our nation’s Capitol last week and the escalation of demonstrations throughout the country.
“In all public service work, we need to be able to trust each other to do our jobs with integrity. We hope the professionals at the Department of Public Safety and Capitol Police carry out their solemn responsibilities by ensuring everyone who comes to the State House is safe. Should these professionals be unable to maintain public trust, they should tender their resignations.”
In other posts, Gauvin has been skeptical of mask-wearing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I recognize that several posts that I have shared, commented on, or reacted to in a personal capacity can be seen as inconsistent with my professional responsibilities,” said Gauvin in a statement. “My focus has always been to be fair and support law enforcement professionals. I certainly never intended for my social media account to ever bring my commitment to fair and professional law enforcement into question. I apologize for giving this impression and have removed my personal social media accounts.”
Gauvin was responding to a story published by Mainer, a Portland-based alternative online news organization previously known as The Bollard.
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