Home Fire News Firefighter fired for Facebook comment says it was taken out of context

Firefighter fired for Facebook comment says it was taken out of context


An East Texas firefighter says he was fired over a complete misunderstanding after his department made a rush to judgment about a comment he made on social media.

On Friday, the Mabank Fire Department announced on Facebook that veteran firefighter of 23 years, Kurtis Cook, had been terminated.

Cook posted a comment online that appeared to show him praising the Charleston church shooter, according to an article in the Washington Times.

But Cook says, “His words were taken completely out of context and now his future is ruined because of it.”

The online post read as follows:  “He needs to be praised for the good deed he has done.” The comment was made on a South Carolina newspaper’s Facebook page about a story on last week’s massacre at a black church in Charleston, a local ABC affiliate reported.

“The screenshot of the post that went viral did not show any of the previous comments, and users assumed Mr. Cook was praising alleged gunman Dylann Roof,” according to the Times.

That prompted social media users to pressure the fire department to cut ties with Cook. But Mr. Cook argues that the department didn’t bother to investigate the context in which his comments were made. Had they looked into it further, Cook told ABC news, they would have seen he was commenting about another person in the thread who donated a large sum of money to the victims.

They completely took my words out of context, said Cook.  “Making me look like I’m standing with this comment, like I’m supporting this Dylann guy, and I would never do that. I’m not racist, never been racist,” he said.

The Mabank fire chief said, “When confronted with the post, Mr. Cook did not deny it and resigned without objection.”

Cook claims he didn’t fight it for the sake of the department since they were under so much pressure to let him go.  There was so much backlash over the comments, Cook says, that he and his family are preparing to move out of the area due to threats, ABC reported.

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