Just about a month ago, I posted here on Journal de la Reyna about a Miami fire captain who ranted on Facebook about the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Many conservative agitators were racing to the media outlets blaming Trayvon Martin and his family and overwhelmingly supporting the shooter George Zimmerman. Many conservatives went forth to paint the unarmed teenager as a "thug" and even went out of their way to make the case that it was Trayvon Martin who ignited the fight which led to the deadly shooting. Some of the most controversial statements come from some in the public sector. Of course, this became a political issue when conservatives bashed President Barack Obama when he made the statement that "[If] he had a son, he'd look like Trayvon!"
While there's still an open investigation to how the incident happened, what is noted would be the 9-1-1 audio tape in which George Zimmerman was told by the dispatcher not to confront the person who was walking in the gated community. Somehow, Zimmerman ignored that order.
Brian Beckmann, the person at the center of a controversy was demoted according to the liberal news agitating website Huffington Post.
On his Facebook page, the firefighter made an insulting comment about Trayvon Martin's parents being "failed ignorant shitbags" and it was posted on his then public profile.
A member of the Miami-Dade County Fire Department took the screenshot of the rant and send it off to the news agitators. About the time a Florida special prosecutor was to charge George Zimmerman, the man responsible for the shooting, Beckmann went into a rant about the decision.
"Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment 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, shitbag, 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 get jacked by a thug."That didn't sit well with some. After The Grio posted the screen grab online, they contacted him. And let's say it wasn't one of the nicest comments in response to the controversy.
"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."Well his comments nearly cost him his job. Beckmann, who has been with Fire Rescue since 1997, was demoted two rungs to the lowest rank of firefighter during a Monday morning administrative hearing and will be required to undergo a psychological evaluation and undergo diversity training.
According to CBS Miami, due to the loss of rank, the 17-year-fire department veteran’s paycheck will take a major hit because a firefighter’s salary is dramatically less than a fire captain. The amount is still unclear but CBS4 found Beckman made $125,616 as a Captain during a 2007 investigation done on firefighter salaries.
Beckmann, with the help of the firefighter union, is expected to appeal the demotion.
“Today the Fire Chief demoted Brian Beckmann by two supervisory ranks back to the rank of Firefighter. As union President, I believe this discipline is excessive,” said Rowan Taylor in a statement.
“We will immediately file an appeal to an independent arbitrator. We anticipate that the case will be heard within the next few months. The decision of the independent arbitrator will be final and binding.”
Under county union contracts, that appeal will go to an arbitrator who may uphold, reverse, or offer up a new discipline order. The process of appeal could take up to six months. In the meantime Beckmann will have to work as a firefighter.
Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez, a former fire chief himself stated:
“In order to avoid this from happening in the future, I have directed my staff to revise the appropriate policies dealing with this issue. It is important to reiterate my position that public servants have a responsibility to uphold the highest levels of integrity and decency, especially when you consider our multicultural, multi-ethnic community. There’s no such thing as being off-the-clock; we are public servants 24/7 and must conduct ourselves with the utmost professionalism at all times.”