A city employee in the Saint Louis suburb of Uplands Park, Missouri, has lost his job after claiming that the shooting of two police officers during recent protests in Ferguson was a “setup,” Fox News is reporting.
Last week, protests took place in Ferguson, Missouri, following the Justice Department’s release of a scathing indictment of the police department in the Saint Louis suburb, where unarmed black teenager Mike Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer. During those protests, two police officers were shot and seriously injured; both are expected to recover.
On Thursday night’s edition of The Sean Hannity Show, John Muhammad, identifying himself as the city manager of Uplands Park, Missouri, appeared on the show and claimed that the shooting was a setup.
“I think it was a complete set up. I think it was a set up between members of the police fraternity; what I like to call them. I think they operate just like the KKK. I think they did it to make themselves a victim when honestly the victim are black people. I think it’s just a publicity stunt no more than that.”
Michel Spurling, chairman of the Uplands Park board of trustees, tells KPLR that, first of all, John Muhammad was never the city manager of Uplands Park — he was a clerk.
When confronted with this information, Muhammad responded that the “confusion” over his title is no big deal.
“I’m not caught up on titles or anything like that. My official title is city administrator. If he says it’s clerk, then I guess it’s clerk.”
Spurling told KPLR that the board of trustees has since suspended Muhammad from his job, pending a meeting scheduled for Monday to determine whether or not to fire him. Fox News, however, is reporting that Muhammad has already been fired.
Muhammad claims that his firing (or suspension) is a violation of his First Amendment rights to free speech.
“I think people had a misconception of what I said. I made a statement under the first amendment of the constitution freedom of speech; that’s what I said.”
Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association would like to remind Mr. Muhammad that the First Amendment doesn’t shield you from the consequences of your free speech (such as losing your job).
“I believe in the first amendment. I believe in the right to freedom of speech. But, there’s a responsibility with the words that come out of your mouth.”
[Image courtesy of: WWNC]