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Officer on fatal Charlottesville crash: 'Hahahaha love this'

People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police department is investigating a Facebook comment by an officer who wrote "Hahahaha love this" in response to a story about a car crashing into counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others.

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri says he received a complaint about the comment Sunday and opened an internal investigation.

“I took immediate steps to initiate a prompt and thorough internal investigation,” Barbieri said via email. “If in fact this post did originate from an officer employed with the Springfield Police Department, this matter will be reviewed by the Community Police Hearings Board for further action.”

Officer Conrad Lariviere wrote in response to the violence: "Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn't block road ways."

Lariviere later apologized, saying in a Facebook conversation with Masslive.com that he’s a “good man who made a stupid comment.”

Democratic Mayor Domenic Sarno says: "There is no place for this in our society, let alone from a Springfield Police Officer."

Lariviere was responding to a story about the death on Saturday of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was struck by a car that plowed into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nineteen others were injured. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested shortly after and charged with second-degree murder.

Lariviere also questioned whether the driver of the car that struck the crowd was a “nazi scumbag.”

He responded to a critic who asked whether he had ever been struck by a car, saying he had been struck by someone “with warrants, but who cares right you ignorant brat live in a fantasy land with the rest of America while I deal with the real danger.”

Lariviere told Masslive.com he is not a racist.

“Never would I want someone to get murdered. I am not a racist and don’t believe in what any of those protesters are doing,” he said.

Lariviere was a member of the Springfield Police Academy’s 2014 graduating class.

A message left by The Associated Press at a listed number for a Conrad Lariviere in Springfield was not immediately returned.

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