An Ohio National Guard member was removed from his post and suspended after the FBI discovered information that the guardsman expressed white supremacist views online, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday.
The guard member was one of the 100 sent to Washington DC after protests took place across the capital following the death of George Floyd.
The guardsman expressed the white supremacist ideology prior to being assigned to Washington DC.
Following due process, it is likely that the guardsman will be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard, DeWine said.
“While I fully support everyone's right to free speech, Guardsmen and women are sworn to protect all of us, regardless of race, ethnic background, or religion,” the governor said. “Our Ohio National Guard members are in a position of trust and authority during times of crisis, and anyone who displays malice toward specific groups of Americans has no place in the Ohio National Guard.”
The governor added that he’s directed Maj. Gen. John Harris to work with Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath to set up a procedure to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
The Ohio National Guard and Ohio Department of Public Safety are cooperating with the FBI during its investigation.
DeWine made the announcement during a coronavirus briefing on Friday, but did not give any details the guardsman’s views entailed.
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