A Maryland official was fired after he posted memes and other statements seemingly supporting the 17-year-old who allegedly killed two protesters and wounded a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s office confirmed that Arthur (Mac) Love IV, the deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, had been fired Saturday afternoon, according to Maryland Matters.
Love had been drawing attention throughout the week for posts he made on Facebook, which seemed to indicate his support for Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, who was caught on video as he allegedly opened fire on Kenosha social justice protesters on August 25, using the automatic rifle he’d brought with him from Illinois.
Among Love’s posts was a meme showing a white police officer giving the thumbs up with the legend, ‘Don’t be a thug if you can’t take a slug.’
Arthur (Mac) Love IV, the deputy director of the Maryland Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, was fired Saturday after his social media posts surfaced
Love had reposted various memes and statements which supported Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse (left), who allegedly fatally shot two protesters and wounded a third
Love’s social media posts (shown) began circulating on Saturday morning, leading to calls for his being canned and his eventual firing that afternoon
Another post showed a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio, in character in The Great Gatsby, raising a glass of champagne, accompanied by the caption: ‘When you see a skateboard wielding Antifa chickens*** get smoked by an AR toting 17-yr-old.’
Screengrabs from Facebook also showed Love posting a meme of one of the Kenosha shooting victims that said: ‘When you get second place in Wisconsin’s annual quick draw competition.’
The Baltimore Sun reported that Love’s social media posts also seemed to support Rittenhouse’s argument that he had acted in self-defense during the shooting.
Love reposted a picture of Rittenhouse cleaning graffiti, which the person who originally shared the photo had said that they were ‘grateful that conservatives are rallying behind this kid. He genuinely seems like a good person.’
Other posts, the newspaper reported, included a photo of people marching, paired with the words, ‘Defund the police! We can police our own communities’ and an image of Rittenhouse carrying a gun, captioned ‘policed his community.’
Word of Love’s posts began circulating Saturday morning, as did calls for his removal from the position, which he reportedly held since 2015 and involved overseeing Maryland’s ethnic and cultural commissions, community service programs and religious outreach.
Love (left) was fired from the job and replaced by Kevin Craft (right), administrative director of the Governor’s Commission on African Affairs
Among the posts Love reposted was a statement someone had written saying Rittenhouse (right) seemed like a ‘good person’ because he was pictured cleaning up graffiti (on August 25)
Rittenhouse (seated) is shown in a screengrab from a video taken the night of the incident
News footage shows Rittenhouse (in green shirt) during the night of August 25
Rittenhouse had traveled from his Illinois home to Kenosha while protests were raging. Protesters are seen the night of the shooting on August 25
The protests in Kenosha were sparked by the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake on August 23. An incendiary device was set off outside a police vehicle on August 25 (pictured)
Maryland delegate Eric Luedtke tweeted Saturday afternoon Hogan should fire Love, while the chairman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus, Darryl Barnes, also called for Love to be tossed out.
Barnes told Maryland Matters that ‘There’s no sense for it,’ referring to Love’s posts, and added that ‘There’s no reason someone like this should be part of our state government.’
Barnes also noted that Love ‘puts us in a bad situation.’
‘This type of rhetoric is fueling what we’re seeing across the country. You see why there’s such a call for the repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. You see why people of all races are marching in the streets calling for justice,’ Barnes said.
Love was said to have written on social media, after this earlier posts were shared, that ‘people on the left try to get you fired from your job for speaking truth. it’s better to be fired for being honest than the LIE.’
While making the announcement that Love had been fired Saturday afternoon, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Steven J. McAdams said, ‘These divisive images and statements are inconsistent with the mission and core values of the Office of Community Initiatives.’
Love was replaced by Kevin Craft, administrative director of the Governor’s Commission on African Affairs, McAdams said.
Gov. Hogan’s spokesperson also released a statement about Love’s firing.
‘These posts are obviously totally inappropriate,’ Hogan’s press secretary, Shareese DeLeaver-Churchill, said. ‘We fully support the immediate actions taken by Director McAdams to address this matter.’
A fundraiser set up on behalf of Love stated that his ‘career of dedicated service came to an abrupt and public end because he exercised his individual freedom of speech by posting on his private social media account that folks should consider an another side to’ the Kenosha shooting.
Love ‘suggested that perhaps Rittenhouse was defending himself in what appeared to be an unfortunate situation for all involved,’ the fundraiser stated, noting that since his social media posts went public, Love ‘has been followed, harrassed [sic] and bullied.’
‘He has experience serious fear for his life, considering the circumstances he has been facing. He has been incorrectly called a racist and homophobe in the media,’ the fundraiser said, adding that Love ‘cannot even walk his dog outside without news networks harrassing him for a comment and/or someone making a threat.’
‘In many ways, Mac’s life will never be the same for simply standing up for his God-given right of freedom of ideas, speech and expression,’ the fundraiser said, describing Love, a Republican, as ‘a devout Christian, family man, and public servant for decades.’
The fundraiser is seeking to raise money for Love’s defense fund and to help him relocate and ensure his physical safety.
Kenosha has been experiencing heated protests since a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, 29, a black man, in the back seven times during an arrest on August 23 while responding to a 911 call about an apparent ‘domestic incident.’
A witness claimed that Blake had been trying to intervene between women who were arguing on the sidewalk.
Blake survived the shooting but has been left paralyzed from the waist down.
The shooting kicked off nightly protests in the city, which have resulted in arson, looting and property damage.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers have said that he was defending himself after being attacked by a ‘mob’ who were protesting Blake’s shooting.