Surf City police chief Mike Halstead has retired, effective immediately, after a recent rant against the Black Lives Matter movement was found on his personal Facebook page, WECT reports.
Town Manager Larry Bergman said that the Council was prepared to fire Halstead, who will receive 60 days of severance, if he did not choose to retire. He will eventually receive retirement benefits.
"He put that information out, that was intended for his friends and colleagues and peers, but it was a public statement and there are people that were offended," Bergman said.
But what did Halstead's Facebook message say that was so controversial? Well, emphasis ours, sic his:
Open letter from a Police Chief , this Black Lives Matter group 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.
The next bit places the blame for the country's race issues, which Halstead admits exist, not on the long-documented history of racism in the United States, but rather on a cadre of malicious individuals, namely:
the President and his cronies Al Sharpton, who is a criminal tax evader (but has the support of our so called President), Jessi Jackson, Eric Holder and that ignorant S.O.B. Farrakhan who should be charged with solicitation for murder, lord knows a white man would be arrested for the same actions of idiot Farakhan.
"I am sure there are many hard working Black people who will agree with me," he states before continuing to say that he is not racist—he has been a police officer for 35 years and judges individuals by their actions, not their skin color.
Then he takes on the media coverage of events like the Ferguson Riots:
I put allot of the blame for these cop murders on the media and the way they report police related shootings. There is no need to list or even state the race of a person shot by the police. It is more important to wait for the facts and report those. But and a big but that does not make money for these greedy media ass holes.
Halstead goes on to say that "When a black thug is killed by the police they are all over it as is Mr. Barack Obama." but no one ever says anything when a police officer is murdered:
Has our so called President spoke publicly about these murders of police officers by blacks, HELL NO he has not.
Contra this part of the rant, arlier this month, after a police officer was murdered while pumping gas, President Obama personally talked to the slain man's widow and released a statement saying
that he would "continue to highlight the uncommon bravery that police officers show in our communities every single day. They put their lives on the line for our safety." Obama also said called the targeting of police officers "completely unacceptable — an affront to civilized society."
Halstead then admits to telling his officers to shoot first and ask questions last.
I have instructed my officers to be vigilant, if threatened take appropriate action. If that means shoot a thug, then do it and answer for it while you are still alive not dead.
Halstead then asks readers to imagine a The Purge-type of scenario which would lead to "murders, rapes, robberies, you name it…you need the police, we do not need you."
He calls upon all Americans to start a movement that says all lives matter and encourages "the New Black Panther Party" to come at him because why not at this point in your rant.
Bergman, the Surf City Town Manager, said he talked to Halstead after the post was brought to his attention and basically said that, as a public figure, you can't do things like this on Facebook, or anywhere.
The townspeople in Surf City are not happy and spent Wednesday protesting and honking car horns in support of the deposed chief.
"We have freedom of speech," Brandy Cuff said."Someone who spent 35 years of dedicated service can't post his opinion, or have an opinion about that? Someone who has to watch his fellow brothers in uniform be murdered, he can't have an opinion? It makes no sense."
Protestors say another effort will be mounted this weekend and an October 6 town council meeting is expected to have higher attendance than usual.
In a call to the NAACP's North Carolina branch, FUSION was told that a majority of the office is in Washington D.C. and the organization would be issuing a statement tomorrow.
This news comes in the wake of a Georgia sheriff referring to Black Lives Matter members as "domestic terrorists" in a similar statement.
In 2014, 126 police officers were killed in the line of duty (56 died between August and December). In 2015, in the line of duty deaths are down five percent. The number of police officer deaths by shooting has decreased every year since 1973.
Read WECT's coverage of Halstead's retirement to read the full Facebook message as well as his follow up apology in which he apologizes if he offended anyone, but not for offending everyone.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org