A Miami-Dade fire captain is under investigation after he asserted that the death of an unarmed Florida teen was the fault of “failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents.”
According to the Grio, Miami-Dade fire captain Brian Beckmann made the following entry on his Facebook page last week on the same day that State Attorney Angela Corey announced she was charging neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman with the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin:
“Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They’re just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug.”
Beckmann later deleted the post and defended himself, writing, “I am a private citizen and have the same right to freely express an opinion on any subject that anyone else does. I choose not to embellish or alter the facts as your employer chose to do.”
“Wrong, cap’n,” South Florida journalist Bob Norman wrote for WPLG. “You’re in a high-ranking position in taxpayer-financed fire department that serves all people in life and death situations, including those people in the inner city that you apparently despise. He’s proven himself unfit for public service.”
“The definition of racism begins: ‘The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race …’. Key word: all,” Norman added. “There’s no denying that there are deep problems in the black community that shouldn’t be ignored. But the real ignorance is to lump everyone together into one narrowly defined and incredibly negative and hateful ball. It’s not just stupid to do that, it’s dangerously stupid.”
A spokesman for the Miami-Dade Fire Department released a statement that promised the comments would be investigated.
“Captain Brian Beckmann has been with Miami-Dade county since 1997,” the statement confirmed. “The post on his personal Facebook page is being investigated by Miami-Dade fire rescue. The department’s only official Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/MiamiDadeFireRescue.”
Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, is employed as a program coordinator at the Miami-Dade Housing Authority. His father, Tracey Martin, works as a truck driver. Neither of the parents is “dependant” on welfare.
Watch the video below from WSVN, broadcast April 16, 2012.
(h/t: Think Progress)