BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Arthur Love IV, formerly the deputy director of Gov. Larry Hogan’s community initiative office is now unemployed- fired for posting several images on Facebook of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.
The 17-year-old 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.
One image shows a police officer giving a thumbs up, and writes, “Don’t be a thug if you can’t take a slug,” with another saying, “This is the definition of self-defense,” beside a picture of Rittenhouse shooting protesters on the street.
“I was appalled by what I saw and what I read,” said Del. Darryl Barnes (D), with the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus.
The posts led to a public uproar, calling for the governor to immediately fire Love. The executive director of the Office of Community Initiatives wrote Saturday: “These divisive images and statements are inconsistent with the mission and core values of our office, I relieved this employee of his duties,”
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott.
A spokesman for the governor added, “These posts are obviously totally inappropriate.”
“You can’t have someone working in state government who is supporting a terrorist, who shot and killed people because they were protesting,” Scott said.
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.
Kevin Craft- who works on the governor’s Commission on African Affairs- is replacing Love and will assume his duties immediately.