Minn. volunteer FFs dismissed from department after 'troubling' social media comments

"Threats of violence and racism are unacceptable," said a statement by city officials

Clairissa Baker
St. Cloud Times, Minn.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Two Sauk Rapids volunteer firefighters are no longer with the department after posting "troubling comments" on social media about the protests following George Floyd's death, according to a city-issued news release Monday night.

"The comments in no way reflect the position of the City of Sauk Rapids, its fire department, city staff or the City Council and are contrary to the core values and mission of the City and the Sauk Rapids Fire Department," the statement said. It was signed by Mayor Kurt Hunstiger, City Administrator Ross Olson, Fire Chief Jason Fleming and Police Chief Perry Beise.

While the department is organized as a volunteer department, firefighters receive a "nominal pay" while on-call, according to Olson.

The city council adopted a code of conduct to provide a safe environment for employees and citizens, the city's statement said. The code prohibits "violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating or other disruptive behavior."

"Threats of violence and racism are unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the City of Sauk Rapids," according to the release.

The Times was not immediately able to reach Mayor Kurt Hunstiger or City Administrator Ross Olson. Police Chief Perry Beise declined to comment.


©2020 the St. Cloud Times (St. Cloud, Minn.)


Attached is a video statement from Mayor Kurt Hunstiger as it relates to recent social media post made by two former members of the City's volunteer fire department. The individuals who posted the comments are no longer associated with the volunteer fire department. Threats of violence and racism are unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the City of Sauk Rapids.

Posted by City of Sauk Rapids on Monday, June 1, 2020


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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