BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- One of Gov. Larry Hogan's staffers who was fired over the weekend after social media posts he made about the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin were deemed inappropriate spoke to the media for the first time Monday, saying he's considering pursuing legal action over his firing.
Arthur "Mac" Love, IV, formerly the deputy director of Hogan's community initiative office, is now unemployed. He was fired for posting several memes on Facebook about the shootings linked to 17-year-old suspect Kyle Rittenhouse.
The teen is charged with homicide after allegedly fatally shooting two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin last Tuesday and seriously injuring a third person. The shooting came during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man.
"I just want my life back," Love said Monday. "I'm an innocent American."
Watch the full news conference below:
Love said while he doesn't want his job back, he doesn't have any regrets about his post. He spoke to reporters surrounded by friends who vouched for his character.
"Mac Love is not a racist," Love's spokesperson and longtime friend Gary Collins said, calling him a victim of cancel culture.
On Facebook, Love posted an image of Rittenhouse shooting protesters on the street with the text "This is the definition of self-defense." Another image showed a police officer giving a thumbs up, and writes, "Don't be a thug if you can't take a slug."
Collins brought up a similar controversy involving Comptroller Peter Franchot's chief of staff Len Foxwell, who in April wrote on social media that someone should, "lure (Trump supporters) into a big, big warehouse... bar the door and then let Darwin work his magic" amid the coronavirus pandemic. Foxwell apologized but did not step down amid calls for his resignation.
"It's either both should go -- Foxwell and Love -- or neither," Collins said.
While Love's supporters argued he has a right to an opinion when he's not at work, others felt differently.
"These posts are obviously totally inappropriate," said Shareese Churchill, a spokeswoman for Gov. Hogan.
Steve McAdams, Executive Director for the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives, released the following statement:
"These divisive images and statements are inconsistent with the mission and core values of the Office of Community Initiatives. Earlier today, I relieved this employee of his duties. Kevin Craft, administrative director of the Governor's Commission on African Affairs, will assume these duties effective immediately."
Democrats called for Love's dismissal after the social media posts became widely known.
"I was appalled by what I saw and what I read," said Del. Darryl Barnes, the chair of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus.
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"It's the right thing to do," said Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott. "You can't have someone working in state government who is supporting a terrorist, who shot and killed people because they were protesting."
Now state leaders are looking at how to avoid this from ever happening again.
"They also have to do a better job moving forward of weeding those people out beforehand," Scott said.
"We must have these types of courageous conversations when we talk about systemic racism and the racial unrest that's going on not only around the country but right here in the state of Maryland," Del. Barnes said.
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