A South Carolina fire chief has been placed on administrative leave after writing a racially charged Facebook post urging cops to stop responding to calls from Black neighborhoods.
According to WBTV, Francis Ghent, a firefighter in Lancaster County, has been placed on leave for two weeks from the McDonald Green Volunteer Fire Department. Officials say he is currently relieved of his duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Last week, Ghent wrote, “Dear Police, stop responding to these Black neighborhoods. They will eventually kill each other and the fake news won’t have a story.”
After his post circulated around social media, Ghent deleted it and issued an apology for his actions. “I guess it was racially insensitive. I did not mean it that way,” he told the outlet earlier this week.
The fire chief also issued a written apology to the Black community of Lancaster. “The post I made on Facebook was not meant to be an attack, but rather a jab at the news media,” he wrote. My father instilled in me that the police were to be respected and honored no matter what. The media has done everything they can to demonize them to get a story and ratings.”
Ghent then referenced the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who was killed by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio last week. “After the police shot and killed the teenage girl trying to kill another girl, the media said he went too far,” he wrote. “But if he had let her kill the other girl, then they would have said he should have done more. The police can’t win in these violent confrontations. I lost it and made that post. The wording was very inappropriate, but anger blinded my judgment.”
“I made a mistake and am very sorry for it. I again ask for your forgiveness,” Ghent concluded.
Check out the fire chief’s now-deleted Facebook post below.