For the second time in as many days a fire service career is ending because of personal posts on Facebook about the presidential election and Black Lives Matter. It was reported today (Tuesday) that Calumet City, Illinois Deputy Chief Rich Banske was demoted last week because of his posts. Banske resigned from the department a day later. He had 24-years on the job.
Calumet City Fire Department Chief William Galgan told Chuck Goudie at WLS-TV that “the posts were not reflective” of the department. The posts were brought to the attention of the TV station’s I-Team last summer but Chief Galgan said he was not aware of them until last week. Reporter Goudie says the personal Facebook page identified Banske as the department’s deputy chief.
The news about Chief Banske comes a day after a firefighter in Belding, Michigan was terminated for a Facebook comment. That comment was part of an online conversation over the weekend about President-elect Donald Trump. Firefighter Ryan Hudson told a reporter he had been drinking when he posted a racist rant after the subject of Black Lives Matter was brought up.
On Nov. 24, 2015, Banske’s Facebook page included comments under his name on “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations underway in downtown Chicago: “Protest anything you want but if you interfere with my right to travel or get to my kids or my home you’re gonna get run over. And I really don’t care if you get hurt.”
Three days later came critical remarks about “the good Rev Jackson, Fr Faker and their band of idiots…” possibly referring to noted South Side pastor Father Michael Pfleger. “Chicago gang members injure and kill more young blacks than all the police departments in the country” was posted on Banske’s page.
On Dec. 2, 2015 a Banske post referred to Barack Obama as “President dumba–…There is stupid and then there is the abyss of stupid. Obama, his cronies and the anti-police protesters are way in the abyss of stupid.”
On Dec. 16, 2015: “War is for winning. Kill them all and let God sort it out. Cruise missiles and carpet bombing are just fine with me.”
Finally, on March 18 of this year, came a post in which Banske stated that “It’s bad enough that I have spent a lifetime being called a racist by idiots on the left but now the idiots like Mitt Romney are calling me one too because I support Trump. Hey Mitt-go F yourself.”