“Idiots shutting down I-126. Better not be there when I get off work or there is gonna be some run over dumb asses.”
A South Carolina Fire Captain got himself fired for going on Facebook, posting a threat to “run over” protestors if they shut down his local Interstate highway.
Not once, but twice.
The City of Columbia and Columbia Fire Department unanimously fired Captain Jimmy Morris on Monday, after learning about his twisted Facebook posts the first of which is at the top of this story.
In case anyone missed the memo, Morris switched to all caps to post a chilling follow up message, in all caps.
According to The State, Morris published the following perverse twist on the PSA to his personal Facebook account:
“PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: 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….”
“It was totally inappropriate to post that type of post,” said the Columbia’s Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.
The 16-year department veteran’s threatening posts were in response to a Black Lives Matter protest that momentarily shut down a main interstate highway in South Carolina.
Morris is white, but the North Main Street Fire Station where he worked serves a majority african-american population.
Now, Morris is out of his $53,722 a year job for threatening the very people, whom he was paid to keep safe from harm.
Black Lives Matter activists staged a protest in Columbia, after the S.C. Secessionist Party raised the Confederate flag at a State House event Monday afternoon.
About an hour later, Morris posted again, “Public Service Announcement: 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….”
Chief Aubrey stated, “due to the magnitude of the impact that the posts had, that is why I made the decision,” and that former Captain Morris’ posts “did not represent the Columbia Fire Department nor the City of Columbia.”
“We are honored and proud to live and participate in the communities we serve. Unfortunately, a member of the Columbia Fire Department has discredited the reputation of the men and women who serve this Department. As public servants, using the best judgment is paramount at all times. Every man and woman who is employed by the City of Columbia is officially an ambassador for the city. Civility, respect and professionalism are characteristics that are not only expected, but required of everyone who represents the City of Columbia.”
The fired fireman Morris is expected to file a work grievance, meanwhile local law enforcement has yet to pursue criminal charges.
South Carolina State Representative Todd Rutherford applauded Jenkins’ actions.
“We’re in this together, like it or not. We have to co-exist. Public officials must know we can’t control their thoughts, but we can control their actions.”
Columbia’s City Manager Teresa Wilson said, “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.”
Now, a second, unidentified firefighter from the same department is being investigated for termination after commenting on Facebook to “run over” protesters too.