WASHINGTON - A D.C. firefighter is under investigation for inflammatory posts he made on Facebook in response to the fatal police shooting of a 37-year-old black man in Louisiana.
Sources told FOX 5's Paul Wagner that D.C. police were informed about the posts made Wednesday on the Facebook page of firefighter Norman Brooks and reported it to D.C. Fire and EMS.
One post said:
"These racist [expletive] cops who are murder our people need to start turning up the same way… they shouldn't feel safe walking the streets and neither should their supporters. Protesting is a lost cause and it makes us all look like a bunch a [derogatory term]. These evil [expletives] don't have any compassion. They are gonna let them PIGS go free and probably start a gofundme and make em millionaires…….
"Its time to stop praying, stop protesting, start buying guns, and start protecting ourselves from these crooked [expletive] racist cops. If you are a cop and are not in support of these people then its about time to start turning these type a [expletives] in or at least givin out some addresses so we the people can handle em.
"End of rant (Please share)"
Another post said:
"The answer is 'yes'…Im saying the citizens should take the law in their own hands and target racist cops. Those pigs in baton Rouge deserve nothing short of a bullet in their heads. See how their families feel after that"
The posts on Brooks' Facebook page were later deleted.
Brooks is a 9-year veteran of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department and works at Engine 23 in Foggy Bottom on the campus of George Washington University.
D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson Doug Buchanan said in a statement:
"The matter involving Mr. Norman Brooks was brought to the attention of the DC Fire & EMS Department this afternoon by law enforcement officials investigating this matter. Immediately upon learning of the allegations, Norman Brooks was placed on Administrative Duty pending the outcome of the law enforcement investigation as well as an internal review by the DC Fire & EMS Department. Norman Brooks has been with the Department since 2007."
FOX 5's Tisha Lewis spoke with Brooks later on Wednesday and he explained why he wrote the posts on his page.
"First and foremost, I don't condone any cops being hurt or anything like that," he said. "My post was in regard to something that happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this morning where what appeared to be two rogue cops shot a man who was on the ground pinned by police in cold blood. Amongst many things that have been happening in this country over the past couple of years, all of these police officers have been walking. I do not condone any violence against any good, innocent people, cops or whatever.
"All I'm saying is that if anybody, whether it is a criminal cop or a criminal person, tries to attack you or makes you feel some sort of way inside your own community, you have a right as an American citizen to defend yourself. And that is all I put in my Facebook status. Anyone else who received that differently, then I don't know what to tell you because I have never committed a crime in my life. I love my people and I said what I got to say."
Brooks said he is frustrated by the lack of punishment for officers in other police-involved shooting incidents of black men across the country.
"All I am saying is that if a person off the street commits a crime, they are punished for it," Brooks said. "These people are not being punished. I don't wish any harm on any innocent people or anyone in that instance. That is what my post is about. Maybe I used strong language, but that is just what it is. These events are starting to affect me, my family and my friends. And if you are a black person out there or just a concerned American, and you are not concerned about it, I feel sorry for you."
Brooks said he apologizes if he offended anyone with his social media comments, but told us he has done nothing wrong, hasn't broken any laws and was just acting on his freedom of speech.
Brooks also said he could have "used a couple better choice words" when it came to his thoughts on Facebook. But when asked if he regrets making the posts, he responded, "I reacted as soon as I saw that video and as soon as I read what happened. It was a reaction to a horrific event. I'm pretty sure a lot of people when they saw 9/11 happen, they made some very strong statements about a lot of people. I'm sure they would take those back maybe somewhat if they were given a chance to think about it again. All I am saying is that I am a man reacting to the horrific things that are happening to my people in this country. I have no ill will to police officers."