Official: Fire employee’s ‘inappropriate’ post targeted citizenship of protesters

As demonstrators gathered in Gainesville Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a city fire department employee posted an “inappropriate” comment during a livestream of the event, authorities said.

Officials first learned of the comment, which referenced the citizenship status of some of the participants, Sunday morning, according to a statement from City Manager Bryan Lackey.

“Saturday evening, the city of Gainesville served as the backdrop of an impassioned demonstration, which we understand remained peaceful for the most part,” Lackey said in the statement. “The activities were streamed publicly via Facebook Live on a number of social media pages, enabling participation – including commentary – by those watching.”

RELATED: 9 arrested, 6 police cars damaged after protest in Gainesville

At some point, an unidentified member of the Gainesville Fire Department made the “distasteful and baseless remark,” Lackey said.

The exact wording of the comment was not disclosed, and the remark itself has since been deleted.

NOTICE FROM THE CITY OF GAINESVILLE Saturday evening, the city of Gainesville served as the backdrop of an impassioned...

Posted by Gainesville Georgia Government on Sunday, May 31, 2020

He said city leaders are “in the process of addressing the personnel issue at this time.” It is not clear in what manner the incident is being handled.

“We want the public to know the comment(s) of this one individual do not, in any way, shape or form, reflect the views or position of the Gainesville Fire Department, nor city of Gainesville government,” Lackey said. “The city prides itself on being a melting pot, and has zero tolerance for comments such as these.”

We are working to learn more.

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