Over the past week, I’ve counted about 20 firefighters and police officers who have been fired or placed on leave and under investigation for Facebook comments in connection to Black Lives Matter protests across the country. Yesterday (Thursday), two more firefighters and a police officer have been sidelined while their comments are looked at.
The one getting the most attention is from a part-time firefighter in Anchorage, Kentucky who posted a comment that talks about bringing harm to President Barack Obama.
A part-time firefighter for the Anchorage Fire & Ambulance Districts has been suspended over social media posts he allegedly made about President Barack Obama.
Screenshots of the social media posts provided to WDRB News appear to show comments made from a Facebook account associated with the name “Donald Lee Baker.” The comments appeared in response to a post referencing President Obama’s address at the funerals of the police officers murdered in Dallas.
“Would someone please put a bullet in this [EXPLETIVE]’s head,” one comment from the “Donald Lee Baker” account stated. “He has no respect for anyone in uniform and no respect for America. He is a worthless piece of [EXPLETIVE].”
A volunteer firefighter/emergency medical technician with the South Haven (IN) Fire Department has been suspended pending an investigation that he posted a racist image and comment Wednesday night on Facebook.
“We absolutely do not tolerate any types of activity of this nature,” Deputy Chief Brandon Cotton said in a prepared statement.
“We proudly represent all members of our community,” he said.
The West Linn (OR) Police Department placed an officer on administrative leave while it investigates his negative comments about the Black Lives Matter movement on his personal Facebook page.
Some of the comments imply threats of physical violence.
The department is checking with legal counsel to see what action it can take with patrol officer Tom Newberry. A department spokesman said that the West Linn force has a policy that covers social media conduct, but noted the rights of department employees to speak their minds.