Ferguson police spokesman on unpaid leave after comments about Michael Brown memorial

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People visit the Michael Brown memorial in the Canfield Green Apartments on Thanksgiving Day on November 27, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. The Ferguson area has been struggling to return to normal since the August 9 shooting of Brown, an 18-year-old black man, who was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer. Monday, when the grand jury announced that Wilson would not face charges in the shooting, rioting and looting broke out throughout the area.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

People visit the Michael Brown memorial in the Canfield Green Apartments on Thanksgiving Day on November 27, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

FERGUSON (PIX11) — A spokesman for the Ferguson Police Department was placed on unpaid leave following comments made about the Michael Brown memorial.

Public Information Officer Timothy Zoll was quoted by the Washington Post calling the makeshift memorial “a pile of trash.”

Zoll was responding to an inquiry made after the memorial was run over, possibly intentionally, by an unknown driver Friday morning.

“I don’t know that a crime occurred,” Zoll told the publication Friday. “But a pile of trash in the middle of the street? The Washington Post is making a call over this?”

During an investigation regarding the remarks attributed to the officer, Zoll admitted that he was correctly quoted and misled his supervisors when asked about the contents of the interview.

He has since been placed on unpaid leave, effective immediately, according to a statement released Saturday by the department.

“The City of Ferguson wants to emphasize that negative remarks about Michael Brown memorial do not reflect the feelings of the Ferguson Police Department and are in direct contradiction to the efforts of City officials to relocate the memorial to a more secure location,” the statement said.

The memorial is located outside the Canfield Green apartment complex where Brown was fatally shot in August. It is made up of flowers, candles and stuffed animals, among other items honoring the slain 18-year-old.