On Friday, a Florida assistant state attorney found himself suspended because of a rather offensive Facebook rant he posted following the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, just hours after the attack in the city occurred. The public official displayed no remorse for the victims and instead put out a tirade of hate for Orlando itself.
According to NBC affiliate WESH, the Florida assistant state attorney Kenneth Lewis was suspended because his Facebook post violated the State Attorney’s Office’s social media policy. The public information officer for the State Attorney’s Office, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Angela Starke, was the one who made the announcement. The office of the Orange Osceola State Attorney also gave a press release that Lewis was suspended because of his disparaging comments.
The words posted on Facebook were not what anyone expected from a public official, especially in the wake of a hate crime committed in the name of terrorism that took the lives of and injured so many of the nation’s people. The Orlando shooting was reported to be the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.
“Downtown Orlando has no bottom. The entire city should be leveled. It is void of a single redeeming quality. It is a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs. It is void of culture. If you live down there you do it at your own risk and at your own peril. If you go down there after dark there is seriously something wrong with you. Disney does everything in its power to shield visitors of Disney from its northern blight. That doesn’t change reality. Disney may be the happiest place on earth but Orlando is a national embarrassment. If this is an act of domestic terrorist it is so important that we don’t publish the religion, name, or motive of the terrorist as not to offend anyone.”
It seems as if the inappropriateness of those words after a massacre did not register with Lewis because he actually followed up that post with another opinion of his that was equally controversial. In his second post, Lewis doubled down on his hateful speech and stated that “All Orlando nightclubs should be permanently closed. With our without random gunmen they are zoos,; utter cesspools of debauchery.”
The officials said that Lewis’ post violated the SAO9 social media policy for his office, part of their code of conduct. The failure to comply with the regulations put in place by the office can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination from their post. The policy regarding the use of social media was adopted and implemented back on February 20, 2015. In fact, some say that it was Lewis himself who may have inspired the policy, as this is not the first time his use of social media has gotten him into trouble.
The first time his words got him suspended was in May 2014 after he wrote another controversial post, this time with disparaging remarks about mothers. Facebook was his medium back then, too, and he wrote on the social media site wishing a “happy Mother’s Day to all the crack h*es out there” and then encouraged the women to “tie your tubes.” Just a few days before this, he had been on another rant about affirmative action, including a picture of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who is the first Hispanic to be elected to the post. His words then blatantly implied that Hispanics did not possess intelligence.
“Reason enough why no country should ever engage in the practice of Affirmative Action again. This could be the result. Where would she be if she didn’t hit the quota lottery? Here’s a hint: ‘Would you like to supersize that sir?'”
Bustle reported that he apologized for his words, stating that he believed only his Facebook friends would see the post. He was temporarily reassigned then before an investigation cleared him to return.
Starke stated that this current suspension of Kenneth Lewis from the state attorney’s office in Florida is pending further review. Whether or not he was suspended with or without pay was not made public.
[Photo by David Goldman/ AP Images]