Bartow police officer fired for racist Facebook post

- A Bartow police officer is off the job months after a complaint revealed she posted a comment on Faceook in which she called President Obama a gorilla.

Chief of Police Joe Hall fired officer Christina Arribas on Thursday, months after the November social media posting.

Protesters found out about the post in early March and held a protest outside the Bartow Police Department. The protest was aimed at forcing the police chief to take action. Up until then, Chief Hall had not disciplined Arribas for the racist comment.

The day of the protest State Attorney Brian Hass wrote a strongly-worded letter to Arribas in which he said, "Your credibility is damaged to the point that this office will no longer use you as a witness in any of our cases."

The letter was in large part, what Hall attributed to Arribas' firing in the notice of termination he gave her.

"I'm certainly grateful that she has been fired unfortunately it's sad it's taken this long," said protest organizer Pastor Clayton Cowart.

Protesters are now calling for Chief Hall's job because he didn't take action to combat the racist post sooner.

The State Attorney's Office says it has identified 15 cases in which Arribas was set to testify, yet they don't believe the outcome of the cases will change without her testimony.

The Bartow city manager told FOX 13, the city may reevaluate Hall's employment status sometime in the future.

"One down one to go and we will not quit and we will not be satisfied until the chief is gone too," said Cowart.

FOX 13 could not reach Arribas for comment.

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