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article imageOp-Ed: Might the problem be a racist dirtbag in a position of authority?

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By Bill Schmalfeldt     Apr 16, 2012 in Crime
Miami - This is a story that raises two issues.
1. Why is there no way to screen people in positions of public safety, like fire fighters and cops, for racism?
2. If you are a racist firefighter or cop, why do you post your hatred on Facebook?
Brian Beckmann is a captain in the Miami-Dade fire department. He may not be for much longer. According to "The Grio," The department has opened an investigation into a racist post allegedly placed by Beckmann on his Facebook account.
Apparently desiring to share his opinion about George Zimmerman's arrest for the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on Feb. 26, here's what Capt. Beckmann allegedly shared with his Facebook friends:
Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for 5 minutes before pre-passing judgement on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, sh*tbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs Corey, we speak only the truth. They're just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn't have anything to do with why people wonder if they're about to be jacked by a thug.
Now, I don't know about you, but that is exactly the sort of racial tolerance and attitude I want from someone who may be asked to run into a building on fire and rescue a black child.
According to "The Grio":Beckmann responded to questions about the page in a Facebook message, saying, "I am a private citizen and have the same right to freely express an opinion on any subject that anyone else does. I choose not to embellish or alter the facts as your employer chose to do."
He offered to contact theGrio when he was "off duty" for further comment.
This story was dated Apr. 13. Three days ago. No word from The Grio whether or not Beckman has been on duty for the past 72 hours straight.
The Grio reports that a Miami-Dade Fire Department spokesman issued the following statement:
Captain Brian Beckmann has been with Miami-Dade county since 1997. The post on his personal Facebook page is being investigated by Miami-Dade fire rescue. The department's only official Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/MiamiDadeFireRescue.
Not that this is necessary for Beckmann's remarks to be as detestable as they are, but the Huffington Post and several other sources report Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, is a "well-respected" program coordinator at the Miami-Dade Housing Authority, where she has worked for 23 years, according to the Miami Herald. His father Tracy Martin is a truck driver.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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