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Fargo officer who wrote 'hang urself' comment will have to teach ethics courses


A Fargo police officer will be teaching a few ethics classes after telling someone to "do us all a favor and hang urself" in a comment on Facebook earlier this month.

A citizen filed a complaint after Officer Zach Messmer responded to a comment someone made on WDAY's Facebook page regarding an officer-involved shooting in Grand Forks.

“Officer Messmer lost his composure for a split second, sent something he regretted sending and kind of got himself into a bind,” Lt. Mike Mitchell, a police spokesman, told Forum News. “He understands what he did was wrong.”

Messmer, a former school teacher, was given the option of receiving a written reprimand or taking part in educational-based discipline, KFGO reports.

He chose the latter.

Messmer will be teaching three courses to new recruits on ethics, and how to not make the same mistake he did, reports note.

This educational option is a new form of discipline the Fargo Police Department is experimenting with, Forum says.

WDAY posted the story of Messmer's punishment on its Facebook page. It was met with support from many saying "who hasn't commented something they regret," while others didn't have much sympathy for the officer.

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