NC police chief forced out after calling Black Lives Matter ‘terrorists’ in FB post

“[A]s public employees we are often held to [sic] higher level of scrutiny and that even if it is a personal social media account and despite not associating himself directly to the Town in his posting, that some will draw the connection.” So said Surf City, N.C., Town Manager Larry Bergman over the “forced retirement” of the town’s chief of police after he took to Facebook with an open letter that might be described as brutally candid.

Here is part of outgoing Chief Mike Halstead’s post via station WNCN:

Black Lives Matter … is nothing more than an American born terrorist group brought on by the lie of the hands up don’t shoot during the criminal thug Michael Brown incident. The FBI and other Government Law Enforcement groups need to step up and put a stop to this. The Government and blacks would not tolerate the White Supremacist group to march through the streets and call for the murders of a race of people and a group of public servants. I agree there is a race problem in this country. It is not brought on by police officer [sic] doing their sworn duty….

I have been a Police Officer for 35 years. I do not judge anyone by the color of their skin, but by there [sic] actions. A criminal is a criminal whether a police officer or any other profession. I will not state statistics because black lives matter do not care or believe proven statistics.

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Halstead goes on to name names, specifically those of Barack Obama and “his cronies” Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, Eric Holder, and “that ignorant S.O.B. Farrakhan.”

A second article at Star News notes that “Halstead’s retirement comes a day after the president of the state chapter of the NAACP and other leaders said they were meeting this week to discuss their response” to his Facebook post.

It’s hard to know whether the town would have taken the same action against the chief absent outside pressure. It’s equally hard to know where to draw the line on free speech in this ongoing … er — dialog. Few would disagree that some in the black community have crossed that line in their incendiary comments, which include threats on the lives of law enforcement. But should police be held to a higher standard — or, in the words of Town Manager Bergman, to a “higher level of scrutiny”?

One local station provides video coverage of Halstead storming out of Surf City’s Town Hall. As he exits the building, a resident of the town calls out behind him, “We support you!”

Halstead replies, “Well good, because nobody else does.”

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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