Cincinnati firefighter's controversial Facebook posts prompt investigation

Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 21:22:58-04

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati firefighter wrote that he wanted to "run them down" in a provocative Facebook post. He claimed to be "a racist" in another.

A Cincinnati Fire Department spokeswoman said they learned about the posts on Fire Investigator Chris Cotter's Facebook page late last week and opened an investigation Monday.

One of Cotter's posts

In one post, Cotter criticizes the rap music that followed a ball game on TV.

"The Rap Crap that followed finally got my attention. So… You can't put more than 3 words together without cussing in a song. And they call you an 'artist'! (sic)," the post states.

It goes on: "Worthless turns brought up by worthless turd parents. I know… I'm a racist for pointing out the facts."

Another post by Cotter

A second post in Cotter's page states: "Just heard a new cause to support and I am all in… 'Run Them Down!' I am all in! If a person or group or mob tries to stop me on the street or highway, I am flooring it! Choose your destiny! Move or get plowed over by my V8 SUV! Try to hurt me or my family and I will stay in my lane!"

They're the latest social media posts that offended people enough to prompt a city investigation. Several months ago, a Facebook post by black Cincinnati police officer Freddie Vincent told African-American men what they should do when they see a white officer.

"Make sure that you are in a public place, and comply to all of their commands, because they are looking for a reason to kill a black man," Vincent wrote.

That case was also investigated. Vincent was not disciplined and he's still on the force.

Cotter will also remain on the job during the investigation of his Facebook posts.

"This review is underway, and I am confident the process will determine the appropriate course of action," Fire Chief Richard Braun said in a written statement. "These comments, made on a private account, are not reflective of the values of the hard-working men and women who comprise the Cincinnati Fire Department and provide first-class service to the citizens of Cincinnati.

The fire department released a new social media policy Wednesday. It allows the department to discipline, and even terminate, an employee who ridicules, disparages or shows bias against anyone, including racial bias.

Read the full policy below:

CFD social media policy by James on Scribd