Advertisement

Kingston man fired by employer following racist posts on local Facebook group

Click to play video: 'Kingston man fired by employer following racist posts on local Facebook group' Kingston man fired by employer following racist posts on local Facebook group
One of the administrators of a Kingston Facebook group was fired by his employer for his alleged involvement in posting racist content – Jun 4, 2020

The alleged administrator of a Kingston Facebook group has been fired by his employer after several racist memes were exposed on a local Facebook group.

MetalCraft Marine, a Kingston-based boat company, has confirmed to Global News that it has fired Roy Kennedy, who allegedly ran a Facebook group called “613 bible Fawkers.”

READ MORE: ‘Get your knee off our necks’: George Floyd protests calm in U.S. as 1st memorial held

Global News has not been able to get in touch with Kennedy, but did exhaust multiple avenues to do so, including calling his employer, MetalCraft Marine, contacting what seems to be an old Facebook page, and asking a close friend to reach out to him.

The firing came after Daniel Thompson, a Black member of the Facebook group, posted 13 screenshots from the page on Wednesday, showing disturbing and racist content pertaining to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn. Certain screenshots show Kennedy’s account either posting the memes or commenting.

Story continues below advertisement

Global News has not been able to verify the identity of those responsible for posting the offensive items.

Daniel Thompson exposed several racist posts on a Kingston Facebook group on Wednesday.

Thompson joined the group in March because a friend said it was a place to share jokes and funny memes.

But what he saw on the page Wednesday morning shocked him — meme after meme showing racist and violent content.

I definitely was angry, I’m really at a loss for words,” Thompson said.

Global News has decided not to show the racist images, since they are too offensive, especially those pertaining to Floyd.

Floyd’s death has caused demonstrations across North America, but especially in the United States, with some of those protests resulting in violent clashes between police, the military and protesters.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Protests fuelled by death of George Floyd sweep across U.S.' Protests fuelled by death of George Floyd sweep across U.S.
Protests fuelled by death of George Floyd sweep across U.S – May 31, 2020

Locally, Thompson’s Facebook post garnered a lot of attention, with hundreds of comments and shares. He said he was overwhelmed by the response from those also outraged by the racist images.

Most of the people that have been reaching out have been positive. A bunch of them I don’t even know,” Thompson said.

Following Thompson’s post, one of the moderators of the 613 bible Fawkers group, Adam Boyce, told Global News he worked quickly to delete the racist content, which he claims is not usually tolerated.

I apologize to everybody for the posts fallen through the cracks. Unfortunately, I can’t spend every minute of every day monitoring everything that’s been posted onto a page,” Boyce said.

Boyce did say that the group was a place to share “funny memes,” and focused on “dark humour,” but that the content that was being posted was not “appropriate.”

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Hundreds show solidarity at Black Lives Matter vigil in Kingston' Hundreds show solidarity at Black Lives Matter vigil in Kingston
Hundreds show solidarity at Black Lives Matter vigil in Kingston – Jun 2, 2020

Thompson said he believes the incidents in the United States caused a definite shift in the content posted in the group over the last several days.

[At first] I kind of just wrote it off — there’s like a couple of bad apples in the group. And then as I saw more [Tuesday] night, it was unfathomable to me, because I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I was reading and seeing those things,” Thompson said.

Boyce said although he worked to delete the racist content, he realized quickly that the group simply needed to be shut down. According to Boyce, Kennedy, who was fired by Metalcraft Marine, was the original creator of the group, and as Kennedy has since deleted his Facebook account, Boyce could only make the group private while he worked to individually ban each of the 700 or so members left.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: George Floyd death: Derek Chauvin charges upped, all 4 officers now facing charges

Michael Allen, general manager of Metalcraft Marine, told Global News it was made aware of the Facebook group and Kennedy’s alleged involvement for the first time on Wednesday. After a short investigation, Kennedy was fired.

Boyce said that he has known Kennedy for years, and disagreed with his firing.

I mean, he’s got a newborn child, … I don’t feel he should lose his job,” Boyce said.

When Thompson heard that Kennedy’s job was in jeopardy, he said he hadn’t meant to target anyone in particular.

“At the end of the day, that was never my intention with posting this. I don’t want anybody to get fired from their job,” he said.

The intention of his post was to ask those in the Facebook community, and the local community, to simply do better when it comes to racial issues. Many of the posters were publishing the racist content from their personal accounts, and before Boyce made the group private, the posts were open for anyone to see.

“There’s consequences to your actions,” Thompson said.

Global News has received about a dozen messages from outraged residents about the posts made on the now-closed Facebook group.

Story continues below advertisement

One resident said they reported the posts to Kingston police. Despite three requests for comment, Kingston police have yet to respond.

Sponsored content