The Greensboro City Council spent much of their meeting Tuesday hearing from community members about the city’s decision to terminate a firefighter for his social media posts.
Dustin Jones was fired last month after posting a series of racist and anti-transgender comments on social media.
He appealed, and City Manager Taiwo Jaiyeoba upheld the decision, saying in a letter to Jones that the posts violated the city’s social media policy and served to “dehumanize, delegitimize, disparage and disrespect those who are different than you.”
Several citizens commended the city for their decision, including Terrell Dungee with the advocacy group Guilford for All.
“As a queer male that cares deeply for the city and its people, it's so important to me that we have public servants that make every one of us feel safe and respected. Dustin's posts and actions and response and lack of accountability for his actions are not those of someone who makes me feel safe.”
Jones rallied his supporters ahead of Tuesday's meeting. Several told council that his firing amounted to a violation of the First Amendment.
A state bill that would allow Greensboro city employees, including firefighters, to appeal disciplinary measures to a Civil Service Board passed the House last month but appears to have stalled in the Senate.