ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com)- Police Chief Sam Dotson is not mincing words about the actions of an officer that wore a "Wilson" name tag on his arm while working a protest detail downtown on Friday.
"I'm sickened by the fact that he actually left the station with that," said Chief Dotson. "I'm sickened that he thought it was okay to do that."
Chief Dotson said one option in dealing with that officer could be suspension without pay. However, the St. Louis Police Department says the officer has been removed from the Civil Disobedience Team and transferred from the third district to the sixth.
Dotson also said that he first saw the picture of the officer wearing the Wilson name patch on social media.
The officer was one of many meeting protesters downtown while wearing riot gear and was seen in a photo wearing the Wilson name tag on his arm, while displaying a different name on the front of his uniform.
"He has a job to do," said Dotson. "He has to do be able to do it objectively, unbiasedly, and really, his opinion isn't what we're paying him for, we're paying for him to keep us safe."
Dotson says their policy is clear and states that no employee of the department, while in uniform, will wear any insignia, badges, buttons, or patches which are not issued by the department.
The button made a clear impression on Ferguson protester Alexis Templeton.
"It let's us know that the community doesn't have a lot more work to do," says Templeton. "It lets us know the police have more work to do."
Chief Dotson says he's also upset with the officer's sergeant for not catching the patch.
"When a lieutenant became aware of it, he told him to take it off," said Dotson. "But obviously that picture was taken beforehand."
Dotson also says the officer's actions do not reflect the professionalism or community oriented policing standards of the department.