YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The mayor of Youngstown took to his Facebook page Friday to address racist comments made toward the city’s fire chief Barry Finley.
Mayor Tito Brown stated the comments made were inexcusable and disgusting to read.
According to a press release from the city, comments were left under a Facebook post that read the following:
Rosemarie: “With all that is going on we don’t need petty bulls**t… Do the job wisely or boot him out!!! Drag his a** on the back of one of your trucks…!!!”
John Thomas: “Who are you talking about?”
Rosemarie: “… your chief…”
John Thomas: “I thought that’s what you meant but I wasn’t sure.“
The Mayor said the comments encouraged violence and threatening behavior toward the fire chief.
“This type of talk, whether you believe it is free speech or not, is unacceptable,” he said.
The mayor said he has spoken with the city prosecutor about the situation and it will be addressed appropriately. He said he felt compelled to speak out.
“It is wrong and has no place in our society. I believed it crossed the line when they talked about actions of harm. This was the Fire Chief being referenced on the fire fighting union page and a captain of YFD not denouncing or rejecting this suggested action toward his chief. We must challenge this type of language and put everyone on notice that this type of behavior is not OK. We will not tolerate it from anyone,” he said.
Mayor Brown stated that he does want this incident documented in a police report because this is “crossing the line.”
“We’re not sure yet but if there is an opportunity that we can charge this woman, if that is the case, using this name, then we will,” he said.
In the press conference, Mayor Brown credited the chief with caring deeply for his position and his community.
A representative of St. Elizabeth Health Center called to clarify that although the woman listed St. Elizabeth as her employer on her Facebook page, the hospital has not had an employee there by that name since 2007.