A Maryland state official was fired on Saturday (Aug. 29) after sharing social media support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. According to CBS, Arthur “Mac” Love IV served as the deputy director for the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, which oversees faith-based and ethnic commissions — including the Commission on African American History and Culture.
On Facebook, Love shared a photo of Rittenhouse cleaning graffiti, captioned, “I’m grateful that conservatives are rallying behind this kid. He genuinely seems like a good person.” According to the Baltimore Sun, Love shared a series of other memes that supported Rittenhouse or use of police force, including one image of an officer that read: “Don’t be a thug if you can’t take a slug!”
Furthermore, The Grio reports that Love posted an image that appeared to be from the Kenosha shooting with a caption that stated, “When you get to 2nd place in Wisconsin’s annual quick draw competition.” Using a GIF of actor Leonardo DiCaprio toasting his glass, Love also reportedly condoned the shooting by writing, “When you see a skateboard wielding Antifa chickensh*t get smoked by an AR toting 17-yr-old.”
Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Steven J. McAdams confirmed Love’s termination in a statement.
“These divisive images and statements are inconsistent with the mission and core values of the Office of Community Initiatives,” he said. “Earlier today, I relieved this employee of his duties. Kevin Craft, administrative director of the Governor’s Commission on African Affairs, will assume these duties effective immediately.”
A spokesperson for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan supported Love’s termination, writing, “These posts are obviously totally inappropriate. We fully support the immediate actions taken by Director McAdams to address this matter.”
Last week, Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide, recklessly endangering safety and possession of a dangerous weapon while still a minor. Prosecutors plan to try him as an adult.