An Alabama police officer has been fired for sharing racist memes, including one about Michelle Obama.
Talladega Police Officer Joel Husk was terminated Wednesday for violating the department’s social media and code of conduct policies, City Manager Patrick Bryant said.
Husk had posted several memes on his Facebook page, including one showing Obama and Melania Trump. “Fluent in Slovenian, English, French, Serbian, and German,” it said over Trump’s photo. Over Obama’s, it read: “Fluent in Ghetto.”
Bryant, the city manager, said statements that are “deemed to be biased or racially insensitive or derogatory” can affect the community’s trust in the police department and, when that happens, “we have to take action to correct it.”
“As public employees, and especially law enforcement officers, we have a standard of excellence to uphold,” Bryant told The Washington Post.
Husk, 37, who had been with the department for about two and a half years, had also shared a meme showing President Obama with the words: “Was Dallas a terrorist attack? Yes! Carried out by Obama’s own homegrown terrorist group!”
Another meme he shared depicted Klansmen carrying a Confederate flag. “The KKK is a hate group right? Isn’t it about time we start being honest in America . . . and admit that #blacklivesmatter is also a hate group?” it read.
Husk could not be reached for comment.
It’s not clear to me at least that any government institution has the right to punish anyone for mild expressions of political opinion that resulted in Joel Husk being fired.
Officer Husk was one of an army of millions of trolls who helped Donald Trump get elected via triggering the left.
If possible, he should sue his former employer. That’s expensive, but it might result in settled law in cases involving public employee free speech rights. To fire a man for his sense of humor is dehumanizing and degrading.