Home Scandal and Gossip Was it fair? Kurtis Cook, Texas firefighter fired after praising Dylann Roof

Was it fair? Kurtis Cook, Texas firefighter fired after praising Dylann Roof

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Kurtis Cook
Did one fire department go too far in firing an employee who expressed an opinion outside of work?

A comment left on Facebook praising the actions of Charleston shooting suspect, Dylann Storm Roof  has led to Kurtis Cook, a volunteer firefighter in Mabank, Texas being sacked.

The man’s Facebook post stated that Roof ‘…needs to be praised for the good deed he has done.’

The post would lead to one commentator, Elliot Brown encouraging those that were offended to call Mabank fire department and report the firefighter.

Wrote the Charlottesville, Va. resident: ‘Tell them their firefighter, Kurtis Cook, is making racist comments on Facebook and whatever else feels right to you. Be peaceful and kind even though his ignorance is hateful and angry.’

Soon after the comment came to be spotted on Thursday, Mabank Fire Department began an internal investigation which led to the outlet swiftly announcing that Kurtis Cook no longer worked at the fire department.

Told a statement by the fire department: The Mabank Fire Department Command Staff has terminated Kurtis Cook as a volunteer Firefighter permanently and has trespassed him from all Mabank Fire Department property. The Mabank Fire Department does not condone nor promote these type of actions or thoughts. On behalf of all members, the Mabank Fire Department offers our deepest apologies to all that were offended by his actions and comments.’

What do you think? Was the fire department out of line in firing an employee who was expressing an opinion? Evan an opinion that most of us would agree is mean spirited and highly distasteful? An opinion that came to be expressed outside of work ….

Kurtis Cook

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  • Leah

    Kurtis, for what it’s worth, I am sorry that this has happened to you. You have been involved in a fascinating, sociological study of mob mentality. People have essentially proven that they are mindless creatures that follow sensationalism without question. I hope there is some retribution from this and that the people that judged you are just a quick to apologize…but I doubt it. I am also sorry the people attacking you were too lazy to use the mindless event that happened in Charleston as an opportunity to create positive change. Apparently they thought ruining your life was their good deed for the day.

  • Leah

    Because phenomena of the “mob mentality”. Within a day it was in headlines as him specifically stating that he was referring to the mass murdering fuckhead and articles removed the general word ‘He’ from his quote…then the pitchforks came out. It’s a perfect example of unethical, clickbait journalism and people being hateful sheep that think they’re doing a good deed by ruining a man’s life from the comfort of their computer.

  • Leah

    Because phenomena of the “mob mentality” didn’t give him time. Within a day it was in headlines as him specifically stating that he was referring to the mass murdering fuckhead and articles removed the general word ‘He’ from his quote…then the pitchforks came out. It’s a perfect example of unethical, clickbait journalism and people being hateful sheep that think they’re doing a good deed by ruining a man’s life from the comfort of their computer.

  • Carol S.

    Is it odd to anyone else that the rest of the thread is never shown? Only a comment by Cook and then a summary by someone named Elliott Brown. No other comments are shown to indicate whether Mr. Cook was responding to Roof or to another commenters post. Just saying……

  • Sonja

    If anyone knows, please let us see the comment page for our selves. The writer says he was referring to praising someone who donated money to the victims and/or a fund for their families.

  • manic

    he said he was replying to a comment where someone was donating money. too bad we will never know the truth since the screen shot cut out all but what Elliott Brown wanted you to see.

  • manic

    You can’t tell from the screen shot what he was speaking of. The person doing all the complaining cut off the first part of the comment section. There is no way you can tell what he was talking about. Shame on you Elliott Brown for what looks like you cut the screen shot so you could take his comment out of context. CONGRATULATIONS ELLIOTT BROWN YOU HAVE PROBABLY RUINED A MAN’S LIFE AND CAREER OVER NOTHING, you just wanted to make yourself look good. Hope you are happy with yourself.

  • Matt Sullivan

    If you still had your facebook account still active you would be able to
    find the post in your activities section. If not go through your
    browsing history on the day of the post and go through each one by one
    until you come to the page you were on. If that thread was deleted
    altogether you would at least be able to find the page name (Huffington
    Post Impact, Sports, etc. for example) and maybe by going to
    waybackmachine.org you could find even a deleted post if it doesn’t have
    robots enabled.

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    His post was about praising a person who donated money to help the victims’ families. It had nothing to do with approval of Dylann Roof. People need to stop jumping to conclusions and stop the social media shaming. Google: “Former Mabank firefighter says Facebook post taken out of context”.

  • Michael
  • Michael

    Get a good lawyer. sue the crap out of Elliot Brown ,for defamation , Liable , and Slander

  • Michael
  • Michael
  • Michael
  • NunYa

    EXCELLENT!!! I agree with your sentiments above. I am not even going to suggest that that volunteer would do something heinous. But there is NO WAY AS A HIGHLY EDUCATED BLACK MAN, I WOULD EVER TRUST HIM ANYWHERE NEAR MY LOVED ONES OR JOB COLLEAGUES. THIS JACKASS VOLUNTEERED TO PUBLICIZE THIS TIDBIT. REST ASSURED, AFTER 9-11, MY RESPECT FOR FIRE-FIGHTERS SKY-ROCKETED TO HEIGHTS FAR BEYOND THE HEIGHT OF THE TOWERS. HIS STATEMENT COULD HAVE DAMAGED THE HARD-EARNED, LIFE-SACRIFICING HISTORY THAT RIGHTLY BELONGS TO THEM. I KNOW WITH CERTAINTY THAT THE COMPANY HE ONCE WORKED FOR FIRED HIM FOR THE RIGHT REASONS: TO MAINTAIN THE FEELING OF SECURITY TO ANYONE ANYWHERE WHO NEEDS THEIR SELFLESS, COURAGEOUS, LIFE-SAVING ACTS OF HEROISM. I AM african american with 12 people in my family(at that time) in the inner city projects. a fire ensued and I still have never been so scared and then SO SO SAFE WHEN THESE FIRE-FIGHTERS Quickly SAVED OUR LIVES. WHEN I READ WHAT HE WROTE I CRIED LIKE A BABY. I almost lost my dad and my sister.

  • NunYa

    shutup scallywag. allow the next man to scream at your significant other or children. could you stand there and watch? I have no patience for people in their lousy attempts to support the constitution, become AMORAL. If I tell my children to behave and respect their teacher,They know to respect the substitute teacher or the tutor or the baby-sitter. Condemn what this 21 year old did – 21!!! – and SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael

    You’re 100% right,, there.

  • Michael

    Well,see NOW I have the name of the paper, I’ve Been contacted by Elliot Brown, Now all I have to do is find the post . I WILL Get to the Bottom of this.

  • Michael

    you’re 100% right there.

  • Mike Barber

    Lack of evidence is not evidence.

  • Michael

    What supporting Evidence ? a cropped screen image with no context or even a source as to were it came from ?

  • Mike Barber

    Always keep a copy your comments.

  • JamesMcGill

    Are you able to establish credibility that you are in fact Kurtis Cook? And your legal counsel has undoubtedly advised you to avoid making public statements, but you are unwisely ignoring that advice? Or are you even more unwisely operating without counsel? I think you might underestimate your infamy.

  • Michael

    Without the context of the conversation there’s is no way to tell what he was referring to . Is it not possible he was referring to a comment about someone making a charitable donation ? Have you read the whole thread on this “Un Named Newspaper” no,I highly doubt you have, because the whole conversation has been removed.

  • JamesMcGill

    Why didn’t you mention that when you were first asked? If you are telling the truth, you have grounds for a lawsuit. Who is representing you?

  • JamesMcGill

    Kurtis Cook was given the opportunity to explain that the comment was either fabricated or was taken out of context, but he did neither. Therefore there is no reason to imagine that the comment was not in the precise context that it has been said to be. Cook isn’t dead or under a gag order or locked up or anything. If this had some other meaning, he could have said so, and still could. He was *not* referring to a LeBron James three pointer, he was voicing support for Dylann Roof and his merciless nazi skinhead massacre of nine innocent people. There are far less embarrassing things Cook could have done which could have ended his tenure at the MFD, but this one rises to the level of “compelling state interest.”

  • Mike Barber

    I sure hope this is what actually happened. I’ve been falsely accused of things and it ain’t fun. But if you really meant what they’re saying you meant, you need to come clean and deal with it. I’m just sayin’.

  • Mike Barber

    There should be a record of it somewhere. This ought to be interesting. Thanks.

  • Mike Barber

    Texans frequently threaten to secede. What’s stoppin’ ya? B’bye.

  • Kurtis Cook

    I replied to a comment that a person from Michigan was donating large sum of money to the victims family. I failed to complete my post with that persons name or reference. I posted he should be praised for his good dead. Which was not aimed at supporting the shooter or the killing of the African Americans. This was a national terrorist act and tragedy to the families that lost loved ones.

  • Mike Barber

    How, exactly, with supporting evidence, have they distorted this?

  • Ronual Ratliff

    I think that if he meant what he said, then no, they didn’t go too far. However, the question I have is is there any proof that he wasn’t being sarcastic or just trolling? I’ve read several articles and every one of them seem to be a copy and paste of the previous one, yet none give details of the entire conversation or show proof that he’s a bigot. The only thing we get is a single screenshot that shows his one comment followed by the comment of the person who, by the very definition of the word, is “cyberbullying” him by encouraging others to publicly shame him and make him unemployable. It’s a modern day witch hunt if you ask me.

  • Mike Barber

    So, explain yourself. What exactly did you say and what did you mean?

  • Mike Barber

    And what do you think he was referring to?

  • Michael

    First : Without the Whole Thread for CONTEXT (only a cropped screen grab) Who Really know what Kurtis was referring to ?
    Second : His (kurtis) comment says “HE” Not Dylann, Not “Roof”. Not Dylann Roof. and With out CONTEXT, who knows 100% what “he” he was referring to ?
    This is 100% Left Wing “Race baiting” at it’s finest !

    Not including the whole thread for inspection , No Context for comments made.
    this is Unethical Journalism!

  • Kurtis Cook

    Yes that’s the problem I am having. Wished I could find the name.

  • Michael

    I’m not “Mike” from other posts, And I only wish I had a copy of that original post. I can’t even find the name of the newspaper FB page it was on.

  • Kurtis Cook

    I did exactly what you said and now it’s funny that the original post is not found. Do you have the copy of the original post?

  • Michael

    I’d Certainly like to know the Whole story, Not just what the media has twisted this into.

  • Mike Barber

    Who else would this “public servant” let suffer and die while he stood by thinking, “Thank you Lord, that I’m not like these others.”

  • Kurtis Cook

    This is correct I NEVER made the comment to be racial and never meant to be taken out of context

  • Mike Barber

    He thinks it praiseworthy to murder our black brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers up-close and personal. Would he let them burn to death in a fire? I’m guessin’, yeah, he would.

  • Kurtis Cook

    Pease PM me

  • Nah… Orwell’s 1984 arrived during the Cheney Administration, 20 years late and half-a-trillion-dollars over-budget.

  • Kurtis Cook

    Mike can you PM me.This is exactly what happened. NEVER would I ever support a murder of any race.

  • Colin V

    I’m sure he violated some code of conduct. There is no room for racism in public emergency services. I’m assuming you’re white. You wouldn’t want someone who’s openly supportive of a racist murderer of whites responding to your emergency situation would you?

    That said, I agree with some firings over social media and I disagree with others but if you signed up for a job and didn’t read the fine print it’s your own damn fault.

  • mike

    Look how short the MDF investigation time frame was. They obviously didn’t give the man time to explain. Elliot put so much pressure on them! Wouldn’t it be tge kind thing and ask FB to ask him to remove the post? It seems that Elliot doesn’t have anything better to do than pick on safety workers. She wants attention and so does the fire station. Lawyers are expensiv too.

  • David Boyd

    So, he was essentially drummed out of a service-oriented social club. Small-town VFDs in Texas are important to the local community, but they’re also a hobby for the members. He wasn’t “fired” from anything, he was a volunteer and the organization decided they didn’t want him to play there anymore.

    As others have said, the freedom of speech does NOT promise freedom from the consequences of your speech. If “mike” is right and he was praising something entirely different, one would think he’d have said so when asked by the VFD command staff. These are people who hang out at the fire station during a large part of their free time, the other volunteers already knew whether or not he’s a racist redneck and may have just seen this as an excuse to toss him.

  • xxdr_zombiexx

    If I wrote something your employer didn;t like, you would remove my post, would you not?

  • I’m vehemently opposed to racism and police brutality but i am also wondering if it is correct to get fired for expressing a point of view?

    Granted it is a despicable point of view. But what’s it going to be next?

    Saying that u don’t like x y z politician on facebook and then finding yourself canned the next morning?

    There has to be line as to how far employers, authority figures, institutions, etc can go.

  • xxdr_zombiexx

    I looked up “praise” in the dictionary

    noun
    noun: praise; plural noun: praises
    1. the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something.
    “the audience was full of praise for the whole production”
    synonyms:approval, acclaim, admiration, approbation, acclamation, plaudits, congratulations, commendation;

  • xxdr_zombiexx

    Racism is free speech in America, only the truth ever gets a gag order.

    However…. we can fire people for less, especially if one lives in an ‘at will’ state. The ENTIRE reason for at-will set-up is so employers can fire anybody at anytime for any reason whatsoever.

    Praising racist mass murder is a better reason for getting fired than failing a piss test just for pot smoking on the weekends. ESPECIALLY if your position was just a volunteer to begin with.

    Racists are going to support racism but they need to know they are the next target after we get the cops back into decent control.

    Racism and police brutality are joined at the hip.

    You are moderator here?

    Wow.

  • mnpat

    If he wasn’t talking about the shooter, who was he talking about and why hasn’t he defended his post?

  • kcwookie

    The First Amendment guarantees that government won’t come after you, but it has never guaranteed the speaker to be free of consequences.

  • kcwookie

    Yes.

  • mike

    I was involved in the oroginal post. He wasn’t talking about the shooter. There were people talking about a guy making donations. The whole section was removed. So you all are wrong. Sorry he is a nice guy. Calling him racist is a hoot

  • Bill G

    While I would not want this man working next to me in an emergency, I wonder if an agency of the government can terminate someone for a repugnant social media post.

  • Big0725

    Never seen a troll with his own website!

  • Big0725

    What, George Orwell had more than one 1984?

  • mrsjohnmiltonrocks

    Nope, I don’t want a society that exists only with my own. I said nothing about sending this man to guillotine. I just think he forfeited his right to be a volunteer fireman because he could be called to assist at the home of a black family. Would he put the same effort into putting out the fire? Rescuing anyone inside? Since he thinks that Dylann Roof didn’t go far enough perhaps he would be trying to help him.

    Hey, he can say whatever he wants. He just can’t be placed in a position of trust that includes serving the black community.

  • EmeraldBlue

    Murdering nine people in cold blood is not a “gesture.” It is a crime, a sin, and an affront to the human race.

  • EmeraldBlue

    “No one is praising anyone for being a racist mass murderer”?? That’s exactly what Kurtis Cook did.

  • Then why not just pick a society that only exists with your own and send all those whose point of view and edict to the guillotine? Isn’t that what Dylann Roof sought to do?

  • ds9sisko

    Freedom of speech dopes not mean freedom from consequences. And never has.

  • If we live in a free society, as we are told, then surely we also ought to speak up for the right of all individuals to express points of views, as unpalatable as they may be (and i am quite appalled with anyone who holds the view that murdering others is the right gesture ) and to preserve free speech.

    Before we know it, we will be getting fired for expressing that we didn’t like a particular talk show…. George Orwell 1984’s has arrived.

  • No one is praising anyone for being a racist mass murderer. Far from it.

    That said, in a civil and free society we also ought to ask if we as a society are going too far in punishing individuals who express opinions that disagree with our own?

    If we live in a free society, as we are told, then surely we also ought to speak up for the right of all individuals to express points of views, as unpalatable as they may be (and i am quite appalled with anyone who holds the view that murdering others is the right gesture ) and to preserve free speech.

    Before we know it, we will be getting fired for expressing that we didn’t like a particular talk show…. George Orwell 1984’s has arrived.

  • oblivion328

    Plenty of people are fired for expressing their opinions outside of work. Try insulting your boss on social media and see if they don’t fire you if they find out.

  • mrsjohnmiltonrocks

    Absolutely fair! What if he had to put out a fire at a black persons house? if he believes Dylann didn’t go far enough, maybe he lets the house burn to the ground and the black occupants die in the fire.

    They should purge all racists from our fire and police departments. Even if they volunteer. Heck, fire departments have huge lists of people waiting their turn to volunteer. Pick someone else.!

  • ericroded

    I can say whatever I want. You have every right to no longer associate with me. The idea that Speech has no consequences is juvenile.

  • margd

    Absolutely. Firing him lets everyone know this racist crap is NOT acceptable.

  • Jason Luthor

    Texas is a right-to-work state anyway.

  • ParkMeadows

    Cook was not an employee. He was a volunteer. The writer of this crap is a moron.

  • I gotta ask: Did one birdcage liner go to far in supporting a man’s right to be a fucking racist praising mass murder?

    I am appalled somebody took the time to even ASK if the right thing was done.

    If I praised a terrorist for a racist mass murder, I assure you I’d be fired.

    What a stupid question to ask.

    Shame on you.