(Photo Courtesy: WBTV)
LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) A volunteer fire chief in Lancaster County has been put on Administrative Leave after posting what many people say was a racially insensitive post.
Fire Chief Butch Ghent with McDonald Green Volunteer Fire Department is under fire after he typed a post on Facebook saying, “Dear Police, stop responding to these black neighborhoods. They will eventually kill each other and the fake news won’t have a story.”
The post has since been removed.
The Volunteer Fire Department says Ghent is now on Administrative leave for two weeks beginning April 27th and the chief is relieved of his duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Ghent did apologize in a letter to county leaders saying in quote, ” I would like to apologize to the black community of Lancaster and through out the country. The post I made on Facebook was not meant to be an attack you but rather a jab at the news media. My father instilled in me that the police were to be respected and honored not matter what. The media has done everything they can to demonize them to get a story and ratings. After the police shot and killed the teenage girl trying to kill another girl the media said he went to far. 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 judgement. I would also like to apologize to my family, fire department, Lancaster County Fire Service and the leaders of Lancaster County. I hope that my actions haven’t put you in harms way. I have served the residents of Lancaster County for over 40 years. I don’t see color in the residents that I serve. I help whomever calls with dignity and respect. I have many black friends and neighbors that I more than likely have offended. I am truly sorry. I made a mistake and am very sorry for it. I again ask for your forgiveness.”
Lancaster County council couldn’t take any actions because it is a volunteer position but it did release the following statement on Tuesday:
“On Monday April 26th Lancaster County became aware of an offensive social media post by a volunteer firefighter serving an independent fire department. Lancaster County Council and Lancaster County strongly condemn the social media post as its contents are contrary to the values and beliefs of Lancaster County government.
The County has received questions about potential disciplinary or personnel action. Volunteer firefighters in Lancaster County are not employees or volunteers of Lancaster County but instead are members of their independent volunteer fire departments. Accordingly, the County cannot take any disciplinary action. However, Lancaster County and County Council take this matter very seriously and urge the fire department to address the matter.”