Columbia Police lieutenant placed on paid leave amid investigation

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Lt. Brian Tate has been placed on administrative leave amid the Columbia Police Department's Internal Affairs investigation into his social media posts.

Tate was placed on paid leave beginning Jan. 3, city spokesman Brian Adkisson said Wednesday, but he was not able to comment further.

"This is a personnel issue and no further information is currently available for release," Adkisson said.

Tate has been employed by the Police Department since 2000. He previously worked in the department's Internal Affairs unit, investigating allegations of misconduct, until he was promoted to lieutenant last September, according to previous Missourian reporting.

The police department is investigating Tate's social media posts, Steven Sapp, a city spokesman, said on Friday. However, the department does not know how long the investigation will last, he said.

Tate is under investigation for tweets posted on his personal Twitter account spanning several years while he was employed by the police department, including one in which Tate said there would be less gang violence in the country if the South had won the Civil War.

Mayor Brian Treece said Tate’s comments were unacceptable and do not reflect Columbia’s values, according to previous Missourian reporting.

“A public official aired his personal beliefs publicly, and that is disturbing to me,” Treece said.

Tate could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Supervising editor is Kaleigh Feldkamp.

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