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N.J. police dispatcher resigns over racist comment on black protester

The dispatcher commented on a photo posted on Facebook of an 8-year-old black boy at a George Floyd protest, holding a sign, "At what age do I go from handsome to a threat?"

A police dispatcher in New Jersey resigned Monday after posting a racist comment on Facebook about a black boy at a George Floyd protest.

In a photo posted on Facebook, the 8-year-old boy is pictured at a protest in Boston on Friday holding a sign, "At what age do I go from handsome to a threat?"

The dispatcher, Marc Repace, commented, "17 give or take a year or two" and "LMFAO totally kidding."

Repace, 21, was suspended Sunday from the police department in Woodbridge, about 20 miles south of Newark, where he worked for three years.

"Once the department determined he made the Facebook comment, he was immediately suspended," John Hagerty, a spokesman for the township, said Tuesday.

Screenshots of Repace's comments have been shared online. The photo of the boy was taken by Nick Emmons, a reporter and anchor for CBS affiliate WBZ in Boston, who tweeted the image Friday.

Repace could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Woodbridge Police Department, in a statement Sunday on its Facebook page, said it was "saddened and dismayed by a recent social media post attributed to one of its civilian employees."

The department said it does not condone "this type of behavior from any of its personnel and is dedicated to the fair and impartial administration of justice for every member of our community. "

Some commenters ask on the police department's Facebook page why Repace was not fired.

"Who is being protected here, because if there is someone making any racist or hurtful remarks on social media, they have no right to be a civilian employee," one commenter wrote. "This is an adult working to protect people, not a child who gets a slap on the wrist to learn a lesson."

One woman wrote that she was "extremely disheartened to see this post and definitely feel concerned for the people of color in my community."

"To be a police officer is to serve with honor and respect, I cannot respect this young man after his comments and I fear for the way he may conduct himself in our community," she wrote. "Please explain what discipline means to us all ... "