Savannah Police Officer Fired For Facebook Post About Privilege That Was Criticized As Racist
A Savannah police officer was fired after he shared a Facebook post about privilege that many interpreted as specifically targeting black people, the numerous sources reported Friday.
Edwin Myrick was reportedly fired for violating the Savannah Police Department’s internet usage and code of ethics for sharing the post, which listed “privileges” from public assistance, according to WSAV.
The post, which he says he did not write, said “Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job;” “Privilege is the ability to go march against, and protest against anything that triggers you, without worrying about calling out of work and the consequences that accompany such behavior;” Privilege is having as many children as you want, regardless of your employment statue, and be able to send them off to daycare or school you don’t pay for,” among other statements.
A Savannah officer was terminated on Monday after making a post about privilege that the police department says violated its code of ethics. https://t.co/GKX6rTecxd
— WGXA (@WGXAnews) June 26, 2020
Myrick says the post was about him, and wasn’t about race. He specifically pointed to the part of the post that mentioned the “privilege” of public assistance, which he says he utilized twice in his life. He also cited statistics that more white people use public assistance than any other race, according to WSAV. (RELATED: Students Can Get Scholarships For Attending ‘White Privilege’ Conference)
“For someone to just assume what I am feeling inside my heart as racism because I am a white police officer is frankly very disappointing,” he said.
Some people interpreted the post as targeting black people, and accused him of racism for parroting racist tropes.
“Edwin likes to use every racist trope he could think of to assuage his own white privilege,” Jannis Glover wrote on Facebook in reference to his post, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Facebook Edwin is a grand wizard racist. Don’t be like Edwin.”
Myrick explained to Sgt. Richard Wiggins his reasoning behind the post, explaining that he was referring to himself, the transcript of a report said, according to WSAV. The police department, however, said that Myrick violated the agency’s rule that states “employees… are prohibited from using the internet to harass, annoy, belittle or oppress any other person.”
“When you’re in uniform, you’re representing the department,” WSAV Crime Expert and former SPD Major Gerry Long said. “Even in an off-duty capacity, when you share something that is certainly adverse, then you can be held responsible for that.”
Bloomingdale, Georgia Mayor Ben Rozier also shared the post, which he said he regretted Thursday and didn’t intend to offend anyone. He says he didn’t violate any policies of his office and after indicating he would step down, he later decided against it, WSAV reported.