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DPS detective flagged by FBI for racist, violent online comments

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 20:33:58-05

A Department of Public Safety detective on Arizona’s Border Strike Force was flagged by the FBI for posting violent, racist, and threatening comments online, according to a confidential memo obtained by ABC15.

Ashton Shewey made at least a dozen comments on YouTube videos in June and July that concerned federal officials.

The 11-year law enforcement veteran wrote about "hanging (Dr. Anthony Fauci)," shooting "black (expletive) sticks," and "cleansing the streets," records show.

After flagging the comments, the FBI tracked down Shewey using the email address linked to his YouTube account.

In November, the FBI notified DPS, who launched an internal investigation.

The confidential memo shows Shewey resigned in lieu of termination. The state police board confirmed it received a termination notice on January 19, 2022.

Read the confidential memo below. Warning: The memo contains graphic and violent language.

Shewey admitted to DPS investigators that he made the comments.

He denied any intention of acting on them.

According to internal records, Shewey told investigators, “I’m not a racist. I don’t hate, I would never act on any of this stuff. It’s frustration; a release of my anger.”

Shewey said he has a drinking problem and that a parent-in-law had a terminal illness.

The internal records show DPS officials unanimously agreed that Shewey should be terminated and marked that his misconduct should be placed on the “Brady list.”

As of February 25, Shewey was not listed on Maricopa County Attorney’s Office’s “Brady list” or a statewide list compiled by a coalition of county prosecutors.

The “Brady list” tracks law enforcement officers with a history of dishonesty, crimes, or other integrity concerns.

Shewey was a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy before he was hired by DPS in July 2015.

In addition to the Border Strike Force, he also worked on DPS’s vehicle theft unit and worked protest responses, records show.

Shewey did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

ABC15 also contacted Department of Public Safety officials to learn more about Shewey’s case and ask the agency to get in touch with the former detective.

A department spokesperson confirmed that Shewey “separated employment” on November 10, 2021, which was the day he was interviewed by investigators.

DPS officials said the department is not looking into any of his previous cases.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at