Fire Captain Axed Over Online Threats to Black Lives Matter Protesters: Officials
A South Carolina fire department captain has been terminated over posting online threats against Black Lives Matter protesters, officials said.
Capt. Jimmy Morris of the Columbia Fire Department was let go Monday after declaring on Facebook that he would “run over” demonstrators blocking traffic.
“Idiots shutting down I-126. Better not be there when I get off work or there is gonna be some run over dumb a***s,” read one post, reported CBS affiliate WLTX-TV.
Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins announced Monday he had terminated Morris, a 16-year veteran of the department.
“A member of the Columbia Fire Department has discredited the reputation of the men and women who serve this Department," Jenkins said. "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’ posts went up Sunday night, as several hundred protesters in the state capital briefly shut down a section of highway. The demonstrations were part of several across the country over the weekend protesting the killings by police last week of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
City Manager Teresa Wilson said Morris’ conduct violated conduct standards for public employees.
“Any actions taken to communicate or demonstrate a lack of respect for the lives and safety of others falls into the category of ‘zero tolerance,’’’ she said.
Morris did not respond to several phone messages left telephone numbers listed in his name, the station reported.