LA MARQUE, Texas – A La Marque Fire Department captain is feeling the heat for making, what some call, racist and offensive comments on his public social media page.
Mostly anyone you know uses social media, like Facebook, to gather friends or keep in touch, share picture and your opinions.
“Well, I think people put out way too much information about what they think. And it can be used against you on your job. In the future, they can pull that up forever,” said Gary Wantlend, a La Marque resident.
And that’s what got the La Marque Fire Department Cpt. Alfred Decker in trouble. He shares some offensive language and opinions for all to see on his personal Facebook page.
“One thing about putting something in writing, it never goes away. It’s there for eternity, so I think anyone should be carefully what they write,” said La Marque Mayor Bobby Hocking.
City officials recently put Decker on paid leave, according to the Galveston County Daily News.
The city is looking into whether or not the controversial posts violate any policies.
Decker identifies himself as a La Marque firefighter and uses curse words, talks about his work, and insults public officials, including Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
One of the posts, created by another website, shows President Barack Obama with a noose around his neck and the subtitle “The making of a national holiday.”
While Hocking could not comment on the investigation because it violates the city charter, he knew about Decker’s posts.
“I would’ve probably felt the same way, had there been a picture of President Kennedy with someone holding a rifle to the back of his head. I mean offensive is offensive any way you look at it. I’m sad that it happened. It’s being investigated and I’m sure the right thing will be done in the end,” said Hocking.
The obvious argument is everyone has the right to freedom of speech.
In 2008, according to the Daily News, Decker, also a peace officer, got attention for ticketing a woman who was swearing loudly in a Walmart.
“I don’t think they should lose their job over it. Everybody got a piece of what they want to say on their own,” said Geno Montemayor, a La Marque resident.
Hocking said he believes in freedom of speech, but with limitations when you represent the city.
“I think any time you represent a group of people you should carry yourself to the higher standards,” said Hocking.
If you don’t, there might be a price to pay.
KHOU 11 News did knock on Decker’s door to get comment, but he was not home. We also placed several calls to the fire chief and are waiting to hear back.