FORREST CITY, Ark. — A firefighter in Forrest City was fired after posting a controversial image on social media.
City officials said Steven Melton posted a picture of a Black baby in his mother’s womb with a noose around his neck. Below the baby is the phrase, “I can’t breathe!”
Residents like Grant Long said the post was racist.
“It’s like this right here,” Long said. “If a black person’s house had caught on fire, and he was the first person on the scene … I question what would be his action of that job.”
Councilwoman Louise Fields saw the post Thursday.
“I got a lot of calls, you know, what y’all gonna do about it?” she said.
It didn’t take long for those questions to reach the mayor, who saw the post and terminated Melton. City officials said he had worked for the department for at least several years.
“You got a noose around a baby’s neck in his mama’s womb, and you a public servant—shouldn’t be,” Fields said.
“I was appalled that somebody in our community that worked for our community would do something like that,” Councilwoman Dena Poteat said.
The mayor declined to say anything on camera but told WREG Melton’s termination was the right move for the city.
WREG reached out to Melton for comment, but he has not responded.
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