LOWEL, Mich. (WOOD) — The Lowell police chief has resigned following a controversial Facebook post that supported four young men who’d armed themselves against potential protesters.
Chief Steven Bukala resigned this week, city officials told News 8. It’s not clear if he was forced to resign or quit on his own.
The Lowell Police Department on its Facebook page had posted earlier this week about the four men who’d armed themselves to patrol the city.
“Greetings just to inform you the public we will have four open carry Second Amendment citizens walking Main Street…. They’re well within their Second Amendment rights to do this. We are aware, there’s no need to call us.”
That led to a flurry of comments between residents, with the chief defending the right to open carry.
On Bukala’s personal Facebook page he posted a photograph of the four armed men on Tuesday, three days after the Grand Rapids riot.
Bukala wrote: “So these fine young men called me today. They wanted to exercise their Second Amendment rights and walk down Main Street. They saw what happened in Grand Rapids. They said it’s not going to happen here. We have your backs. I thanked them for letting me know they were in town and to call if they see something.”
The Lowell Police Department on Thursday apologized on its Facebook page for what it called “an ill-considered message posted on the Lowell Police Department Facebook page. We then defended this message, arguing with residents or dismissing their concerns.”
“We must take this opportunity to listen and learn so we can work together to defeat racism and build a more just and equitable society.”
Bukala could not be reached for comment.
Bukala has been with the city of Lowell since 1995 and was appointed chief in 2013.