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Maryland official fired after Facebook posts showed support for Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse

Jacob Blake handcuffed to his hospital bed
Jacob Blake handcuffed to his hospital bed 03:32

A Maryland state official was fired on Saturday after sharing social media posts supporting Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse. Arthur "Mac" Love IV served as deputy director for the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives, which is responsible for outreach to diverse ethnic groups and faith communities. 

Many people drew attention to Love's Facebook posts last week. One of the images he reposted showed a picture of Rittenhouse cleaning graffiti with a caption, written by the original poster, that said: "I'm grateful that conservatives are rallying behind this kid. He genuinely seems like a good person." According to the Baltimore Sun, Love made this and several other posts in a Facebook group called Inside Maryland Politics. 

Rittenhouse, 17, is charged with killing two protesters and wounding another when he opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night. He has been charged as an adult with two counts of first degree homicide and one count of attempted homicide, and also faces charges of recklessly endangering the safety of two other victims and possessing a weapon while under the age of 18.

On Saturday, Governor Larry Hogan's office confirmed to the Associated Press that Love was fired. "These posts are obviously totally inappropriate," Shareese Churchill, a spokeswoman for Hogan, said in a statement to the AP and other news outlets.

Maryland lawmaker Eric Luedtke was among those calling for Love's firing. "This is one of the FB posts by Governor Hogan's Deputy Director of Community Initiatives. Who oversees — I'm not kidding — the Commission on African American History and Culture. Fire him, @GovLarryHogan, and issue the Exec Order on use of force you should've issued months ago," Luedtke tweeted.

He shared a screenshot of another of Love's posts, a meme of a smiling White police officer with the words, "Don't be a thug if you can't take a slug." 

Luedtke, who is the majority leader for Maryland's House of Delegates, later tweeted that Love had been fired, "as he should have been."

Steve McAdams, the executive director for the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives, also released a statement to various news outlets, saying: "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." 

CBS News has reached out to McAdams and Governor Hogan's office for comment and is awaiting response. CBS News was unable to reach Love for comment. 

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