An American police officer has been sacked in relation to a controversial T-shirt he wore in a picture on his social media account.

Former Peoria police officer Jeremy Layman was pictured on his Facebook page wearing a T-shirt with a slogan which read: "Police BDRT: Baby Daddy Removal Team".

Terry Burnside, head of Peoria Community Against Violence, which is affiliated with the Don't Shoot program, is a member of the advisory committee on police-community relations. He said he was told Thursday about Mr Layman's termination from the Peoria unit, in Illinois, US.

"We were told that he was terminated based on the social media post he made," Mr Burnside said. "The conduct, we were told, wasn't acceptable or tolerable."

Advertisement

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, local police coined the term "Baby Daddy Removal Team" after a man named Orlando Barlow was shot in the back by officer Brian Hartman. Mr Barlow was reportedly on his knees, unarmed, and attempting to surrender when the incident took place in 2003, reports News.com.au.

The police unit reportedly celebrated the shooting by printing T-shirts "depicting Hartman's rifle and the initials B.D.R.T. (Baby's Daddy Removal Team), a racially charged term and reference to Barlow, who was black and who was watching his girlfriend's children before he was shot.

The phrase, "Baby Daddy Removal Team," lives on in police culture, The Huffington Post reported. In 2011, officers with the Panama City, Florida, Police Department adopted the acronym as the name for their police league kickball team. Several online stores still sell the police-themed clothing.

City Manager Patrick Urich's office issued a statement Thursday afternoon announcing that Mr Layman was no longer employed with the force. He called it a "personnel matter" and wouldn't release any other details.

Mr Layman first came under fire for controversial Facebooks post in January this year.

Rita Ali, chairwoman of the advisory committee on police-community relations, said "police officers deal with the public on a day-to-day basis and have to be sensitive to all races and colour." She said it was difficult for the public to accept officers who didn't meet those expectations.

Mr Layman was cleared of misconduct and obstructing charges in 2010.

The Journal Star reports the charges were in connection with the beating and tasing of Andrew Smith of Brimfield in 2008. The incident followed a high-speed chase that ended at the foot of Abingdon Street hill. Mr Layman was accused of turning off the video camera inside his squad car during the struggle to arrest Mr Smith.

Mr Layman had worked for the department for 17 years and received a letter of commendation, a lifesaving certificate and a combat valour award, the latter two both coming in 2009, the Peoria Journal Star reported.