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Fire lieutenant’s Facebook threat against city officials results firing

Firing occurred six months after Chattanooga learned of incident

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This one’s a little different than the recent SMACSS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndrome) in that it isn’t about the current protests across the country and that it concerns a threat against top city officials. The incident occurred six-months-ago. WTVC-TV reports that shortly after Lt. Charlie Thomason posted the Facebook image (above) showing bullets carrying the names of the mayor and some council members, Thomason realized he screwed-up and attempted some immediate damage control. According to documents reporter Latricia Thomas received, Thomason claimed his post was not racially motivated and it was concerning an initiative by the mayor that could lead to city workers ratting on each other. Thomason admitted to having a few beers before making the post. Anger, alcohol and access to social media are probably not a good mix. I imagine the combination has been involved in many other SMACSS cases.

Sarah Grace Taylor, Chattanooga Times Free Press:

After spending six months on paid leave, longtime Chattanooga firefighter Lt. Charlie Thomason was fired last week based on findings that he posted threatening content on social media.

According to Chattanooga Fire Department spokeswoman Lindsey Rogers, the investigation into the firefighter of nearly 19 years centered around “inappropriate” Facebook posts on Thomason’s personal page, which prompted an internal investigation late last year.

While the Chattanooga Fire Department has refused to disclose any details of the posts in question, Chief Phil Hyman wrote in a statement that “that kind of behavior is not what the Chattanooga Fire Department stands for and that kind of language on social media will not be tolerated.”

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Latricia Thomas, WTVC-TV:

Through an Open Records Request, NewsChannel 9 has learned longtime Chattanooga Firefighter, Lt. Charlie Thomason, was fired after making threatening posts to the city’s Mayor and several city council members.

The posts, show several bullets with the names Berke, Coonrod, Muhammad, Kunesh and Hakeem assigned to each one. The caption reads:

“Oh look, I got cleaning supplies for Christmas,” with the phrase “2020 is going to be busy.”

The Internal Affairs report says Lt. Thomason approached the Chief at Fire Station 7 and told him, “I may have messed up this time.” He showed Chief Schroyer the social media posts and told him he had posted them on his personal account the night before.

Read entire story

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