Clark County deputy fired over tweets

A Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been fired after allegedly posting racially insensitive tweets.

An email sent to Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly, other local law enforcement and social justice groups by a concerned resident Wednesday morning called for the termination of Deputy Zachary Davis.

The tweets appear to reference the recent unrest between the community and police in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death in April.

One tweet posted on a Twitter account registered as Zach Davis on April 28 reads: “It’s time to start using deadly force in Baltimore. When they start slaying these ignorant young people it’ll send a message.”

Another post on the same day reads: “Baltimore the last few days = real life Planet of the Apes.”

This is the first deputy terminated from the office for inappropriate posts on social media, Kelly said.

“Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but not everyone is entitled to express the level of insensitivity, hostility, and maliciousness that is evident in the following tweets — especially when the person expressing them holds the responsibility of enforcing the law, when that person indeed holds the power of the state in his hands,” Trevor Brown wrote in the email to Kelly alerting him to the social media posts.

Just hours after he received the letter, Kelly said the deputy had been fired.

“If you’re posting these type of statements then I don’t feel you can serve this community,” Kelly said.

The sheriff’s office has zero tolerance for racism, he said, especially when it’s brought to his attention in a complaint from the community.

“We are public servants — we represent this community and serve this community,” Kelly said.

Davis couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Denise Williams, president of the Springfield NAACP chapter, said she was at a loss for words when she saw the tweets. She plans to work with the sheriff’s office on diversity training.

“I commend Sheriff Kelly for what he did by quickly terminating the deputy,” Williams said.

Linda Stampley was in Baltimore and participated in the peaceful protests before they turned violent. She leads the local civil rights group Groovy Grannies and is part of the Black Lives Matter national group.

“At a time like this across the United States … how could you even say that?” Stampley asked.

Davis was sworn in as a deputy in April and served as a cadet in the organization for a year before that.

New deputies spend a year on probationary status and can be let go for many reasons, Kelly said, and these social media posts were reason for termination.

Davis had no other discipline reports on his record with the sheriff’s office.