’Absolutely unacceptable’: San Antonio firefighter terminated after derogatory comments on protests

Posts were also ‘incendiary and threatening,’ officials say

SAN ANTONIOUpdate June 21: City officials have identified the firefighter who was terminated as Lauran Bienek. Bienek, who was assigned to the Fire Suppression Division, worked with the department since 2009.

Bienek was fired for commenting on a Facebook post “concerning using a vehicle to ‘plow’ through protesters,” according to suspension records.

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Original story:

A 10-year veteran with the San Antonio Fire Department was fired Thursday after posting a racially derogatory comment on social media.

The employee, who was not named in the fire department’s news release, is accused of posting a racially derogatory comment and image on social media “as well as an incendiary and threatening comment regarding recent protests.”

Firefighter spokesperson Joe Arrington would not release the firefighter’s name, stating that the practice “is pretty standard for personnel matters.”

In the past, however, terminated firefighters have been identified. The names of first responders who are suspended a day or longer in Texas are subject to release through public records under Texas law.

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Officials did not release additional details regarding the incident, but KSAT is working on obtaining more information about the case.

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Protests have broken out in cities across the United States since the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

“The City of San Antonio and the SAFD consider these posts absolutely unacceptable and reprehensible,” according to a statement provided by the city and fire department. “This type of conduct will not be tolerated, and employees that choose to engage in such behavior will be dealt with swiftly and severely.”

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