PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)--A number of Phoenix police officers are facing disciplinary action for things they posted on social media.

Several disciplinary review board hearings were held Tuesday to let officers know the punishment they are facing.

[VIDEO: Phoenix officers flagged for controversial social media posts]

Attorney Steve Serbalik with AZCops, represents a number of officers, who he believes are being treated unfairly, calling the Phoenix Police Dept's social media policy unconstitutional.

"In Arizona, any discipline for an Arizona officer has to be supported by just cause," said Serbalik. "If the policy is unconstitutional, we'd have concerns about whether the discipline would meet that standard."

Phoenix police have not released the review boards recommendations, yet, but many officers could receive anywhere from a 40 to 240 hour suspension, a demotion, or termination

A federal lawsuit against the City of Phoenix has now been filed on behalf of a police Sergeant, who re-posted stories that some consider racially insensitive.

Sgt. Juan Hernandez claims his first amendment right to free speech was violated and any punishment he is given would be unconstitutional.

"Sgt Hernandez's posts were about matters of public concern, about topics that were being widely covered in the news," said Serbalik. "We don't feel like he should be disciplined for re-posting information that's part of a public discussion and matters of public concern."

Hernandez is one of 75 Phoenix police officers that were flagged in a national database for having questionable Facebook posts.

Hernandez had his disciplinary hearing postponed until a federal judge can determine the merits of his case.

The Phoenix police chief has the final say on all disciplinary recommendations.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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