For the second time in less than a month we are telling you about a Florida firefighter who is under investigation for comments made on a personal Facebook page. In both cases the postings have offended members of the community.
The first incident involved Miami-Dade Capt. Brian Beckmann who was rather outspoken and labeled a racist by some for his comments about the Trayvon Martin case in mid-April (click here for initial story). A story on May 1 about a protest against Beckmann says the department is still contemplating whether to take any disciplinary action.
Now comes the story of Hialeah firefighter Eric Johnson who was interviewed by WSVN-TV and declared he is “absolutely not” a racist after some posts on his Facebook page attracted attention. Johnson told the reporter he is married to a Cuban and his best friend is African-American. Johnson is the vice-president of the Hialeah Association of Firefighters.
One of the posts in question is a photo of a man riding a scooter with a goat and the caption: “Only in Hialeah. LOL.” “Wasn’t that hilarious or what?” Johnson said when asked about the photo. “I don’t really necessarily see why people would be offended. It’s a picture. It’s in good humor. You have the option of coming on my page and looking at it or not.”
In another posting, Johnson wrote about how he communicates with the people of Hialeah. He says: “I have a system. Just add an ‘o’ to any English word and bam! It works. For example, how ya doin ‘o.’ You wanna go to the hospital ‘o.’ I just learned that you can’t do that when you say is this your home though. Ha Ha.”
Then there are Johnson’s postings about Medicare: “Ha Ha Ha… Jew forgot dat I hab da Medicare… Jew must talk me.”
Johnson also offered an explanation for that comment too. “This is a typical response we get in the city from a lot of people who have government benefits,” he said. “It’s almost like you owe them, you are there at their beck and call, at their service, and mind you, as a public servant, I am, I really am.”
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