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Denver Police officer fired after posting ‘Let’s start a riot’ on social media

tommy mcclay instagram Cropped

DENVER (KRDO) -- UPDATE: The Denver Police Department said Tuesday that Officer Thomas McClay is no longer with the department after an investigation into one of his social media posts saying "Let's start a riot."

Just a day after DPD announced the investigation, it said in a statement that "the Internal Affairs investigation revealed that the officer violated the Department's social media policy, posted content inconsistent with the values of the Department, and the officer has been terminated."

McClay joined the department in 2019, according to a Facebook post.

Earlier Story

The Denver Police Department says Internal Affairs is looking into a post on Instagram that shows three DPD officers in tactical gear with a caption that says "Let's start a riot."

The post on Instagram, shared by an account named Tommy McClay, features the three officers standing on a sidewalk in their gear, and the hashtags indicate it was posted in Denver.

It's not clear exactly when the picture was taken, but it was shared at a time that Denver police officers have been engaged in violent standoffs with protesters demanding reform in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Monday, DPD confirmed that the post "featuring 3 DPD officers posing in riot gear" is under investigation, which is also being monitored by the Office of the Independent Monitor.

The other two officers haven't been identified publicly.

News / State & Regional News

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for Learn more about Andrew here.



  1. Once again damaging the reputation of police officers. I don’t know what it will take to get a higher quality of police officer, but we certainly need a serious upgrade from many of the ones we currently employ.

  2. I believe Instagram and the others like I’d believe a child who says, “sorry.” Is it real or propaganda? You cannot prove it either way.

  3. He aint the only cop around here like that. thats other just havn’t been seen yet. Ive seen people get out of the military and join law enforcement because and I quote ” they wanna shoot people and get away with it”. That came directly from a cadet in c.s.p.d. bout 5 yrs ago.

  4. He didn’t get fired for what he said, it was the platform in which he said it.

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