N.C. Police Chief Ousted for Having an Opinion
• North Carolina lawman forced to retire after saying radical black activists were “domestic terrorists.”
By John Friend —
A police chief in a small North Carolina beach community has been forced to retire in lieu of termination after posting an open letter on his personal Facebook page excoriating and condemning the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. He described the radical organization as “an American-born terrorist group brought on by the lie of the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ during the criminal thug Michael Brown incident,” according to the post, which has since been deleted.
Former Police Chief Mike Halstead, the latest victim of the thought police enforcing political correctness in America, was forced out of his position after serving for over 35 years.
Halstead made the Facebook post on September 3, which almost immediately caught the attention of Surf City, N.C. Town Manager Larry Bergman and members of the town council.
“In early September 2015 the former chief made divisive comments on his personal Facebook account that were inconsistent with Surf City Police Department social media policies,” an official statement released by the town of Surf City read in part. “His comments and chosen platform were not representative of the town’s expectations of a professional police chief. His actions ultimately left the town management and elected officials difficult decisions where no positive outcome was possible.”
According to WECT, a local news outlet based in Wilmington, N.C. that has reported extensively on Halstead’s forced retirement, Surf City Police Department employees are permitted to “express themselves as private citizens on social media sites” assuming it does not “negatively affect the public perception of the department.”
“He put that information out, that was intended for his friends and colleagues and peers, but it was a public statement and there are people that were offended,” Bergman explained to WECT.
After discovering Halstead’s Facebook post, Bergman called an emergency meeting with town leaders to address the situation. The town council and town manager indicated that Halstead would either have to retire, or face a possible termination. Halstead chose to retire, and agreed to receive 60 days of severance pay.
Halstead’s Facebook post referred to the BLM group as a domestic terrorist organization and argued that racial tensions were being deliberately instigated and exacerbated by President Barack Hussein Obama, mainstream black leaders such as Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, and the mainstream mass media. He also argued that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies need to “step up and put a stop to this,” referring specifically to the oftentimes violent demonstrations organized and led by leaders of the BLM group.
“I have instructed my officers to be vigilant, if threatened take appropriate action,” Halstead declared in his Facebook post. “If that means shoot a thug, then do it and answer for it while you are still alive not dead. Law enforcement is fed up with this murderous society who want to take out those who protect and serve.”
Following his forced retirement, local residents and community leaders organized a rally in support of Halstead. “I wasn’t ready for him to retire and I don’t think he was, either. He has a lot of great ideas that will make this community better,” opined Dorothy Royal, a local resident and business owner in Surf City.
Brady Cuff, another local resident, believes Halstead was unfairly forced to retire, telling WECT that she was “shocked and disgusted” with the Surf City Town Council.
“We have freedom of speech,” Cuff noted. “Someone who spent 35 years of dedicated service can’t post his opinion, or have an opinion about that? Someone who has to watch his fellow brothers in uniform be murdered, he can’t have an opinion? It makes no sense.”
John Friend is a California-based writer who maintains a blog.