FORT PIERCE — One of the Fort Pierce police officers fired last week is speaking out for the first time since he lost his job.
Former Officer Keith Holmes posted a message to his former co-workers on a private Facebook page for the Fort Pierce police officers’ local union Tuesday night, according to a screenshot obtained by Treasure Coast Newspapers. Holmes and Sgt. Brian MacNaught were fired May 8 from the Police Department.
Holmes wrote the following message:
“I want to thank you all for the compassion and ambition you have for the job you have undertaken. You swore an oath when you pinned the badge on to protect the citizens of Ft Pierce. Please don’t let the actions of a bad apple deter you from your job. Don’t let what happened cause hesitation for you to do the job you took an oath to do. The important thing is you get to go home to our families at the end of shift. No matter what happens in the end we were able to go home that night. Both Brian and I had each other’s back, we still do to this day. I still consider those that work there for whom I know and don’t know you are still considered family. This is Police week. Have each other’s back and always watch your six. Stay safe.”
A seven-month investigation found Holmes and MacNaught made a series of tactical errors that created a dangerous situation during a traffic stop April 23, 2016, in which Demarcus Semer, 21, was fatally shot, police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney previously said.
“I’ve always been humble, and it’s always been about why the badge was pinned on, not what the badge could do for me,” Holmes said to Treasure Coast Newspapers.
Both Holmes and MacNaught have appealed their firings with the city. According to both of their union contracts, the appeals process could take up to 60 days from when they appealed to get to arbitration.