A soldier with the Massachusetts National Guard has been removed from service after he made “inflammatory and divisive comments” on social media about the George Floyd protests in the state, Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard reports.
The soldier, Keefe said in a post on his verified Facebook account, has been placed on inactive status and will not serve in any capacity while this matter is under investigation. The Guard did not provide further details about the soldier.
The Massachusetts National Guard did not immediately return requests for comment from MassLive.
An FBI spokesperson said the agency is aware of a social media post made by a member of the state’s National Guard but declined to comment beyond that.
The social media post allegedly included the phrases “(Expletive) your riots” and “You’re all stupid I can’t wait to shoot you tomorrow night,” The Boston Globe reported, citing a source briefed on the situation.
In a statement to the Globe, a Massachusetts National Guard spokesperson said, “The Massachusetts National Guard has a proven track record of fair and equitable service and takes pride in our diversity and inclusionary practices to support our residents in every community, and has no tolerance for this insensitive behavior.”
The Guard responded in a followup post to rumors that the guardsman in question was scheduled to be on duty anyhow.
“It has come to our attention several fake/imposter social media accounts have been created claiming to be from the Soldier who posted the inflammatory comments. These accounts have posts claiming this Soldier will be on duty tonight. This is not true. This Soldier has been placed in an inactive status pending an investigation and will not be on duty. As we find these accounts we are alerting each social media platform to their fraudulent nature. Please send a direct message to us if you find any fraudulent pages.”
Members of the 104th Air National Guard unit in Westfield were called into Boston Sunday to help quell the violence that erupted in the state’s capital. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said 53 people were arrested as a result Sunday.
©2020 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
Visit MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. at www.masslive.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.