An investigation is now underway after a Peel Police officer allegedly shared Islamophobic posts on Facebook. Michael Vertolli, a 19-year-old veteran on the service, has gotten some backlash for supposed posts he made on his social media accounts.
According to VICE, Const. Vertolli, who also happens to be an aspiring politician, has allegedly posted several videos and articles that invoke Islamophobic sentiment.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims apparently filed a complaint about Vertolli to Peel Regional Police after witnessing the alleged posts and others that supposedly oppose the Black Lives Matter movement.
"We take all complaints about officers' conduct very seriously. We are aware of the Facebook posts made by Const. Vertolli, which is currently under investigation by our Professional Standards Bureau," Const. Sarah Patten told Narcity via email on Wednesday.
Const. Patten notes the investigation "is in the early stages," but acknowledged that Const. Vertolli, who has apparently worked at PRP for 19 years, is still on active duty as of Wednesday.
According to his Facebook, Vertolli is also an active member in the Milton community as president of the Milton Santa Claus Parade and even a member of the Halton chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
And he has had recent political aspirations too, finishing third in Milton’s Ward 2 local councillor race back in 2018.
“We are deeply troubled by the posts from the officer,” said Mustafa Farooq, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims to VICE.
Ford Nation across the Nation. Great turn out tonight and great speech. Thanks @fordnation https://t.co/jCBzp6lbH5— M Vertolli (@M Vertolli)1517719391.0
“It is not too much to demand that officers on the streets, with guns and badges, do not explicitly hold discriminatory or distasteful attitudes towards any group of people.”
Vertolli's Facebook appears to have recently been scrubbed of the recent alleged offending posts despite the VICE story noting that they were up when the story was published.
But according to the report, one of the posts he allegedly shared came just days after a white gunman murdered six Muslim worshippers during the January 2017 Quebec City mosque attack.
The post allegedly insinuated that the victims of the attack had “strong ties to terrorism.”