A Texas judge has apologized for his controversial social media commentary on the arrest of Otis Tyrone McKane, who allegedly killed San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi, calling his suggestion of a lynching “harsh,” reports the San Antonio Express-News. Burnet County Judge James Oakley, the county’s top elected official, shared the police department’s Facebook post announcing the arrest of McKane, then added a comment from his personal profile to the thread saying, “Time for a tree and a rope,” said the Austin American-Statesman, which captured a screenshot of the now-deleted post.
Oakley said his comment was “off the cuff” and “indeed curt and harsh,” but said it had nothing to do with the suspect’s race. McKane is black. “It is for that reason that I deleted it soon after posting and apologize for not being more thoughtful and comprehensive in my expression,” he said. “What I should have posted, if anything, is a comment that more clearly reflects my opinion on the cowardly crime of the senseless murder of a law enforcement officer. My view of the “suspect”, whom has admitted to the murder, is the same regardless of ethnicity or gender.” A manhunt for McKane, 31, ended with his arrest on Monday. He is charged with capital murder for allegedly shooting and killing Marconi while he issued a traffic citation on Sunday near police headquarters.