OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department apologized Tuesday for a retweet on its social media account of a video post from prominent
white nationalist Richard Spencer.
Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said he mistakenly hit the post button while researching social media posts involving a right-wing rally planned in Berkeley later this month.
The video was of a media briefing held by Spencer following the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly when a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring nearly two dozen other people.
Kelly said he was doing research on Spencer because he’s a “focal point” of the “No to Marxism in America” rally. He said when he was trying to close the video, he “hit a bunch of buttons at the bottom, and one must have been the retweet button.”
The tweet remained shared on the Twitter profile of the sheriff’s office for an extended period of time, prompting inquiries from journalists and other Twitter users.
“I’m not very savvy with Twitter,” Kelly said. “I had to call our IT person to take it down, that’s why it took a bit of time.”
“It was a mistake, I deserve it on this one,” he said, but emphasized “it was an accident, and there was no ill will or bad intention.”
The Aug. 27 Berkeley event is planned for 1 p.m. in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park and is already prompting plans for a counter-protest.
Multiple similar events organized by white nationalists took place in Berkeley earlier this year, most recently in late April following the cancellation of a planned speech by conservative commentator Ann Coulter at University of California at Berkeley.
The demonstrations have turned violent with several arrests and injuries.