Live

Watch CBSN Live

St. Louis journalist reportedly fired after Facebook post on Michael Brown's mom

Report: St. Louis journalist fired
Report: St. Louis journalist fired 00:41

A St. Louis journalist has reportedly been fired after making offensive Facebook comments about the mother of Michael Brown, the teenager whose shooting death ignited weeks of emotional protests in Missouri and led, eventually, to the birth of the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement.

Bobby Hughes was an overnight photographer and journalist at KTVI, the Fox affiliate in St. Louis, according to reports.

He posted on Facebook after Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, was announced as part of the Democratic National Convention line-up.

Ferguson Report Released 06:39

"She's going to talk about the new lead diet she's endorsed. Five servings and you can lose 200 lbs in two years easily," Hughes reportedly wrote on Facebook. CBS News could not independently verify the contents of the post, which has been removed from Facebook.

The Ethical Society of Police, which represents black officers in the St. Louis Police Department, first drew local reporters' attention to Hughes comment, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A KTVI spokesperson confirmed Hughes' departure to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Bobby Hughes no longer works here; he's no longer an employee of KTVI," the spokesperson said, according to the newspaper.

Hughes later apologized for the post, calling it "incredibly insensitive," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The National Association of Black Journalist praised the station's decision to fire Hughes, and called his comments "reprehensible."

"An apology was not enough," Marlon A. Walker, NABJ's vice president of print, said in a statement. "Race relations in the St. Louis area already were tense before Michael Brown's death. To poke the bear while the wounds are still fresh from Aug. 9, 2014 was irresponsible. Our job as journalists dictate we do better."

Lesley McSpadden is comforted hours after the fatal police shooting of her son Michael Brown in the Canfield Green Apartments in Ferguson. (Huy Mach, St. Louis Post-Dispatch - August 9, 2014) Huy Mach, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white police officer on Aug. 9, 2014, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Massive, sometimes violent, protests followed, and St. Louis County entered a state of emergency. Americans across the country watched the violent clashes unfold online and on live television.

The U.S. Justice Department and a St. Louis County grand jury eventually cleared the officer involved, Darren Wilson. A Justice Department investigation into Ferguson's justice system found evidence of a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias by police.

McSpadden took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday alongside the women known as the "Mothers of the Movement." Together, the mothers spoke poignantly about losing their children -- whose deaths catalyzed the Black Lives Matter movement for police reform -- and becoming activists in their time of mourning. They endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue