A police officer who was suspended for threatening Black Lives Matter activists on social media is now suing the city that he worked for.
George Forbush, who served as a bomb squad technician for 19 years in Sparks, Nevada, is suing the city for $1 million in damages. He claims that they violated his free speech rights by suspending him for his racist comments on Twitter.
The tweets were in response to a video where protesters were seen attempting to burn an American flag. Forbush expressed wanting to “build a couple AR pistols just for BLM, Antifa, or active shooters who cross my path and can’t maintain social distancing.”
In his lawsuit, Forbush claims that the city punished him due to his “particular viewpoint of his political opinions as expressed on his personal social media,” which was a violation of his First Amendment rights. The suit stated that On Monday, the City Council voted to hire independent counsel to defend Sparks against the federal suit, which was filed last month.
After an anonymous complaint, the city launched a disciplinary investigation. The probe confirmed that Forbush’s posts were made as a private citizen outside of his duties.
Sparks city policy states that all employees and elected officials shouldn’t post biased remarks, harassing statements, and/or threats of violence or any language that can be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, or intimidating toward fellow employees, citizens, or vendors.”