Aren't Cops Supposed to Protect Citizens?

I was watching the morning news' (TVBIS) follow-up on the Taiwan police officer who received a warning after his comments (were they on a poster - I am not sure?) about the president. The police officer said: "I wish President Chen had died in 2004 when he was shot." The news coverage was providing an interesting slant. It was as follows:
"Don't police officers have a right to freedom of speech?"
I guess most people with common sense would reply "yes, but the government/country also has a right to fire police officers, regardless of their rights, for not doing their job." Police officers are responsible for safety of everyone. Cheering on murderers doesn't really fit in the job description.

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