SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: Johnson’s Facebook post included the expletive. We have replaced three of the letters with dashes.
A San Antonio firefighter who wrote ‘F--- the police’ multiple times in a lengthy Facebook post in late August has been suspended 90 days without pay, SAFD suspension records show.
Engineer Christopher Johnson was originally handed an indefinite suspension in early October, but it was later shortened to 90 days after Johnson met with Chief Charles Hood.
The Aug. 25 Facebook post, which Johnson said he wrote because of a culmination of issues going on in his life and following a police shooting of a suspect in another state, included the following:
From a place of disgust and shame, as someone who has only had positive interactions with the police - privilege - someone who [h]as family and friends that are cops, who works with cops, I say F--- THE POLICE. F--- the departments, and administrations, training officers, unions, and individual cops who despite everything, all the scrutiny, all the calls for change, still shoot and murder Black men and women and/or protect those who do. F--- the police who have terrorized and traumatized and injured demonstrators and protesters that are speaking out against the same abuse and killings of Black men and women.
Johnson, who is white, told Chief Hood several coworkers reached out to him after he made the post and said they appreciated what he wrote, while others sent him messages disagreeing with it, according to records released as part of Johnson’s suspension.
Johnson also said during his meeting with Hood that he worked with some people who had views he did not agree with.
The department’s investigation determined that Johnson violated rules that included conduct and behavior, relationships with coworkers, negative public image, inappropriate behavior and damaging the reputation of the department.
Johnson began serving his suspension Oct. 9, records show.
His suspension comes four months after Hood fired Firefighter Lauren Bienek for posting a racially derogatory comment on social media.
Bienek was fired for commenting on a Facebook post “concerning using a vehicle to ‘plow’ through protesters,” according to previously released suspension records.
Hood mentioned Bienek during his meeting with Johnson and said, “Your’s was against an institution, her’s was racist,” according to handwritten notes included in Johnson’s suspension records.
Hood said he wasn’t going to fire Johnson but that “it’s going to be a lot of days,” referring to the length of the suspension, records show.
Johnson’s Facebook post came two days after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake was repeatedly shot in the back as he reached into the front seat of an SUV while three of his children were in the back seat.
Kenosha police officials later said a knife was recovered from Blake’s vehicle. Blake’s family has said he is now paralyzed from the waist down.
The police shooting led to protests and riots that included two people being shot and killed by an armed civilian.
After Johnson’s Facebook post came to light, he wrote to Hood that he was “angry at news of another case of police excessive force that seemed to be racially motivated,” records show.
Johnson, in the handwritten letter, conceded that he “used language and terms that were inappropriate.”