Georgia police officer fired after Facebook post about ‘privilege’ sparks controversy

Police officer fired after Facebook post about ‘privilege’ sparks controversy

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia police officer is out of a job after critics called one of his Facebook posts racist.

According to WSAV-TV, the Savannah Police Department fired Officer Edwin Myrick on Monday, saying he violated department rules prohibiting disrespectful speech against any race and using the internet to harass or oppress others.

Content Continues Below

The decision came after Myrick shared a post, which he said he did not write but copied from another source, addressing "privilege," the news station reported.

"Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you've never had a job," began the post, which is no longer publicly viewable but was captured in a screenshot that circulated on social media. "Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance."

The post also cited "living in public subsidized housing where you don't have a water bill" and the ability to protest "anything that triggers you" as examples of privilege.

"Privilege is sending your kids to school early for the before-school programs and breakfast, and then keeping them there for the after-school program ... all at no cost to you ... paid for by the people who DO HAVE TO DEAL WITH RISING TAXES AND COSTS!" the post continued, according to the screenshot.

On June 16, Facebook users shared the post and tagged Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, asking how Myrick would be held accountable. Johnson replied that he had "forwarded these posts to the city manager and the police chief for their review and investigation."

In a June 19 memorandum obtained by WSAV, police Chief Roy Minter Jr. wrote: “Based on my review of this investigation, I have concluded that termination of your employment is appropriate for this matter.” The memo added that Myrick had violated the department’s “oath of office, ethics and conduct” and “social networking and internet use” policies.

Myrick disputed the allegations, telling WSAV that the post had nothing to do with race.

“For someone to just assume what I am feeling inside my heart as racism because I am a white police officer is frankly very disappointing,” he told the news station.

According to the department's internal review, Myrick said "the post was talking about 'himself' in some ways," WSAV reported.

"APO Myrick stated that prior to SPD, he was the director of emergency management for Effingham County," the department's transcript summary read. "APO Myrick stated he felt privileged that he was able to take care of his family by reaching out to a resource that was available."

Stock photo of a police officer.
Stock photo of a police officer. (Jose Maria Hernandez / EyeEm / Getty Images)