HOPEDALE, MASS. (WHDH) - A post popped up on the official Hopedale Police Department Facebook page that had people doing a double take. The online message glorified the shooting of a transgender person. 

“We’re here to help people and that post was not helpful,” Hopedale Police Chief Mark Giovanella said. “To read it and the language that was used in it, it was offensive to us and I’m sure it was offensive to the people that we are serving.”

The chief said the site was hacked just before midnight on Tuesday. 

“We immediately tried to have the post removed, and then we realized we were locked out of our account because it was hacked and taken over by another identity,” he said.

Spanning into the afternoon on Wednesday, the post stayed live, referring to a transgender woman as a “direct threat” and claiming to have fired “47 shots” at her. The post also deemed their actions “justified.”

14 hours after the message was posted, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and a local representative got the post removed by communicating with Facebook. Town officials said no other systems in the community were compromised, and they’ll work to better secure the Facebook page. 

“To be honest, social media is so influential,” neighbor Dennis Dukenya said. “We kind of live in a shallow, superficial society … what you see is what most people believe.” 

“You have to worry about lies and you can’t really see the truth of anything,” another neighbor Kim Kelley said. 

Town Administrator Mitch Ruscitti said the post went viral, and he’s heard from people as far away as Texas. 

“A lot of the calls that I received in my office were threatening towards our police department,” Ruscitti said. “When I tell you this is honestly compromising our officers ability to do their jobs that is 100 percent true.”

While the post is gone, it’s not really behind Hopedale. 

“We will conduct an investigation and we will follow whatever means necessary in order to find out who did this,” Giovanella said.

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