Aubrey Jenkins, Columbia, South Carolina’s first Black fire chief, announced his decision to terminate a fire captain over his disparaging Facebook post about Black Lives Matter protesters.
Though the chief would not name the employee, WLTX names said man as Jimmy Morris.
“…A member of the Columbia Fire Department has discredited the reputation of the men and women who serve this Department,” Jenkins wrote in a statement obtained by WLTX. “This decision was made to ensure our communities that the Columbia Fire Department will not condone or tolerate this type of unprofessional behavior by any employee.”
Morris took to his alleged Facebook page to express his outrage over the protests, writing:
“idiots shutting down I-126. Better not be there when I get off work or there is going to be some run over dumb *****.”
An hour later, another post went up:
“Public Service Announcement,” it begins. “If you attempt to shut down an interstate, highway, etc on my way home, you best hope I’m not one of the first vehicles in line because your ass WILL get run over! Period! That is all.”
The New York Daily News reports Morris is a 16-year veteran of the Columbia Fire Department. His comment is just one of many controversial posts made over the past week by law enforcement officials, including a Kansas officer fired for threatening a Texas woman and her five-year-old daughter, and a Detroit officer demoted for calling BLM protesters “racists,” and “terrorists.” According to The Daily Beast, a separate incident occurred involving Memphis cops who posted a Snapchat video pointing a gun at an emoji resembling a Black man.
Jenkins said he hopes “one poor decision,” doesn’t reflect on “the character, dedication and professionalism,” of the city’s fire department.
City Manager Teresa Wilson also released a statement saying offensive social media posts fall under a zero tolerance policy:
“Every man and woman who is employed by the City of Columbia is officially an ambassador for the city,” she said. “Our employees represent the City of Columbia not only while they are in the workplace, but also while they are engaging with others in the community.”