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Are these comments on Facebook about thugs REALLY grounds to fire a city fire investigator?

Crystal Eschert
Photo credit WSOCTV.

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Do government employees have any First Amendment rights?

That is the question being asked after City of Charlotte fire investigator, Crystal Eschert, was fired over comments she made on her personal Facebook page.

Where is Obama? Where is Holder? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are Trayvon Martin’s parents? Where are all the white guy supporters? So WHY is everyone MAKING it a racial issue?!? So tired of hearing it’s a racial thing. If you are a thug and worthless to society, it’s not race – You’re just a waste no matter what religion, race or sex you are!

The comments were in response to a police shooting near Ferguson, Mo. where a white person was shot. This came after the shooting death of Michael Brown during an altercation with former Ferguson, Mo. police Officer Darren Wilson.

Eschert told WSOCTV she believes the firing was revenge for raising concerns over a building fire investigators were moving into.

“There was an elevator that went from the basement up and it was wooden. And when we went in the spring, it didn’t want to work too well. So we had to jump to make it function,” she said.

She claimed that a week after filing that report she was called into a meeting and told she about an email complaint the department received due to the following Facebook post.

The department and city manager’s concluded that the post was a fireable offense, according to WSOCTV.

Many experts believe she has a strong case against the city, WFAE 90.7 reported.

“I don’t think that it could easily be shown that she thinks that there are certain elements of society that might be thuggish is an indication that she’s not qualified to be able to engage in arson investigations,” University of North Carolina law professor William Marshall said.

“She said something that at best was racially insensitive, but on a public issue on a private page,” Guy Charles, co-director of Duke University’s Center on Law, Race and Politics said. “Between the hand that she’s holding and the hand that the city’s holding, I think I’d prefer to have her hand.”

Carmine Sabia

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