Facebook Comments Spark Outrage

The fallout over the Facebook comments by Miami-Dade Captain Brian Beckmann on the Trayvon Martin shooting case continue to keep folks in Florida and beyond on edge.

Captain Beckmann’s commentary on “urban youth” and “ignorant, pathetic” parents reignited the simmering controversy that has captured the attention of the nation since February. Miami Dade fire is now investigating whether Captain Beckmann will face discipline.

Here is some of the news coverage.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
  • Legeros

    One interesting aspect of this involves requests for service. I’ll wager that just about any social media scandal will NOT affect someone’s dialing 911, when they have a fire, or a heart attack, or…

    Could there be a collective affect? If an agency received bad press after bad press, might their customers loose confidence in their ability to help? Maybe. But in high-panic mode, I think we’re probably hard-wired to dial 911.

    Thus, reputation management is for affecting a different set of outcomes. One’s personal employment, for example. There’s also public support, which is invariably tied to funding and approval for things asked for.

  • Laura

    Freedom of speech does not give him the right to represent his employer, coworkers or his community in a negative way. I have been a public servant for 15 years and clearly he is in violation of company policy & his employment should be terminated. If he clearly feels that way then he should express his opinion as a unemployed private citizen.

  • Cases like this show why every department needs a social media policy.

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