MABANK, Texas – A firefighter in Texas lost his job after his Facebook post appeared to praise the Charleston shooter.
On a South Carolina newspaper’s Facebook page about the Charleston shooting, Kurtis Cook, a veteran firefighter of 23 years, wrote, “He needs to be praised for the good deed he has done.”
He says his comment about the shooting in Charleston was misunderstood and taken out of context.
Cook told KLTV that he never intended to express support for Dylann Roof.
“When I was looking at the threads and, you know, I was just reading down and there was a person there that posted, was donating a large sum of money to the victims, so I just said ‘This person ought to be praised for his good deed,’” Cook explains.
Headlines across the country portrayed the comment as a reference to accused Charleston shooter Roof, but Cook says that is not true.
“Making me look like I’m standing with this comment, like I’m supporting this Dylann guy, and I would never do that. I’m not racist, never been racist.” Cook said.
Cook says he was confused when the fire chief told him to come to the station with all of his things to discuss his Facebook post.
“We had no idea what kind of comment on Facebook he would have made that would offend anyone,” Andrea Cook said.
The Mabank Fire Chief told KLTV that when he confronted Cook with the post, Cook did not deny it, and in fact, asked him what the problem was.
“They were getting so much pressure over there that I just went ahead and just let them go ahead and resign me, or terminate me, so they could go ahead and move on with the fire department,” Cook said.
With remarks and threats against the family, the Cooks are preparing to move away.
“And now I’ll never be a fireman again. I’m going to lose my full-time job and I’m going to have to relocate,” he said through tears. “I’m not trying to just ‘do damage control.’ I’m just telling you the side of the story where I came from on this.”