Skip to main content

Rochester police officer on leave over reported Facebook posts

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A Rochester police officer was placed on administrative leave over Facebook posts directed at Black Lives Matter and Muslims.

The Rochester Police Department confirmed to BringMeTheNews Officer Ben Schlag is on leave after the department received a report concerning the posts Friday. A media officer with the department noted the incident is under investigation, and they can not comment further at this time.

The group Rochester for Justice says it notified police about Schlag's posts, saying he has shared a "litany of anti-Muslim and racist posts," including some that appear to support "shooting radical Muslims in the face" and running over protesters.

The group provided screenshots of some of the posts – they include references to Black Lives Matter, police protesters, and the Middle East.

"He has made it clear that he does not respect or value the lives of the citizens of color he is sworn to protect and serve," Rochester for Justice notes, demanding the officer be dismissed.

Me to We Racial Healing, a national group based in Minnesota, addressed the officer's Facebook posts in a letter addressed to the Rochester Police Department, the City of Rochester and Gov. Mark Dayton.

The letter, which also includes screenshots of the Facebook posts and a timeline of when they were posted, says comments like this from people of authority "continue to further erode trust between police and citizens."

The group is asking for an investigation, wants the officer to be replaced, and ask the department develop clear consequences when something like this happens, while calling for more public outreach to communities of color.

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis also posted about the officer, saying when this happens public servants should be held "accountable for their bias, actions, and discriminatory remarks – whether they be spoken or written on Facebook."

The Rochester Police Department was informed of the officer's posts one day after St. Paul police officer Jeffrey Rothecker resigned from his position. He is accused writing a post on Facebook urging drivers to run over Black Lives Matter protesters.

Next Up


Commemorative street name for Prince approved in Minneapolis

The block next to the First Avenue nightclub will be named Prince Rogers Nelson Way.

storm, radar, severe weather

Monitoring severe storm threat Saturday-Tuesday in Minnesota

The holiday weekend won't be a washout, but multiple rounds of strong and severe storms are possible.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 4.45.15 PM

Charges: St. Cloud meth dealer had numerous weapons. body armor

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 38, faces 12 felony-level charges.

3100 Bloomington Ave.

South Minneapolis tenants declare rent strike; allege unsafe conditions

A group of Powderhorn Park residents say they'll withhold May rent due to health and safety concerns.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 3.11.26 PM

Threats involving 2 students at West St. Paul middle school

Police said there is no reason to be concerned for the safety of the rest of the student body at Heritage E-Stem Magnet Middle School.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Controversial Two Harbors mayor told: Resign or face recall election

The mayor has come under scrutiny for unusual behavior this year.

Lakeville Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Tips for selecting a reputable solar installer

Installing solar panels is a major investment. The solar solution provider you choose should be stable and trustworthy.

3M Maplewood

3M fined $2.8M for hazardous waste violations in Cottage Grove

The company's violations spanned more than two decades.

Christopher Payne and Kaley Wethern

Couple charged after $75k worth of fentanyl pills seized during traffic stop

Christopher James Payne and Kaley Maria Wethern have been charged in the seizure.


Two cops on leave after Rochester man dies during arrest

Investigators are looking into what caused the death of a 39-year-old Rochester man as he struggled with two police officers who were arresting him. The police department has placed the officers on administrative leave.

Son of Rochester police chief sues city, commission members

Jeremy Peterson claims the city broke a long-standing "practice and/or policy" by not allowing him to return to his community service officer position after he didn't complete the requirements of his 12-month probationary period as a police officer, the Post Bulletin reports. He also accuses two members of the Rochester Police Civil Service Commission of violating Minnesota's open meeting law. Peterson is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. He's the son of Police Chief Roger Peterson.