Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A Columbia Fire Department captain has been terminated after making a controversial remark on social media regarding Sunday's night's Black Lives Matter protest in Columbia.
Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins announced late Monday afternoon that he terminated the employee. While he didn't name the person, a city official told News19 the fired employee was Captain Jimmy Morris.
"...A member of the Columbia Fire Department has discredited the reputation of the men and women who serve this Department," Jenkins wrote. "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 wrote on what is believed to be his Facebook page, "idiots shutting down I-126. Better not be there when I get off work or there is going to be some run over dumb *****."
At the time the post was made, a group of several hundred protesters were near I-126 and Elmwood Avenue, and in response, the roadway was shut down for just under an hour.
"I would like to assure the citizens of the City of Columbia and Richland County that this one poor decision should not reflect the character, dedication and professionalism of the men and women of the Columbia Fire Department," Jenkins said.
Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson said the city's employee handbook makes clear the standard for employees, and the remark violated those protocols.
"As the City Manager, there are specific types of behavior and actions that I will not tolerate," she wrote. "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”. Every man and woman who is employed by the City of Columbia is officially an ambassador for the City. 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. "