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Fire chief quits, apologizes after Black neighborhoods post

Fire chief quits, apologizes after Black neighborhoods post

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LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina fire chief has resigned after igniting controversy with a Facebook post saying police should stop responding to Black neighborhoods.

The Lancaster County administrator, Steve Willis told The State newspaper that Francis “Butch” Ghent quit as chief of the McDonald Green Volunteer Fire Department on Friday.

Ghent had been suspended for the April 22 post. The post said police should stop responding to calls in Black neighborhoods and added, “They will eventually kill each other and the fake news won’t have a story.”

Ghent apologized to the fire department’s membership for the controversy that came from the Facebook post.

“I realize this has placed the department in a poor light and continues to cause mistrust and controversy in the community we all serve,” the statement said.

Ghent asked for forgiveness and said he hoped that the community will begin to heal after he resigned as chief. In an earlier apology, he had said the post was meant as a jab at news media.

McDonald Green is an all-volunteer department, according to Lancaster County officials. Firefighters there are not county employees and county officials said they have no authority to discipline Ghent, although county leaders including Lancaster County Council issued a statement condemning the post as offensive.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, The State.


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