The Secret Service has launched a probe into an incident involving a Facebook picture showing armed young men holding a T-shirt that depicts US President Barack Obama’s face covered in what appear to be bullet holes.
“Any time information such as this is brought to our attention, where an individual or a group expresses unusual direction of interest in one of our protectees, we conduct appropriate follow-up. This posting falls into that category. We’ll conduct the appropriate follow-up measures on this,” Politico quoted a Secret Service spokesperson Max Milien, as saying.
He stressed that the Secret Service respects the right to freedom of speech and expression, but pointed out that it had a right to interrogate the individuals involved to “determine their intent.”
According to a New York Times report, one of the men in the picture has been identified as a student at Centennial High School in Peoria, Ariz.
A school spokesperson, Danielle Airey, said she could not verify whether any of the other students in the picture were members of Centennial High School’s student body.
The photograph was allegedly taken by a Peoria police officer Sergeant Pat Shearer, who posted the picture on his Facebook page
A Peoria Police Department spokesperson, Jay Davies, said Shearer who works for patrol services bureau had not been placed on any type of administrative leave.
“Once administrative investigation is launched, we are bound by law and cannot discuss the details of the investigation,” he added.