Akron Police Officer Fired Over Louis Farrakhan Facebook Post Asking Why Nobody Has Killed Him Yet

An Akron, Ohio police officer was fired last week after a lengthy investigation into a Facebook post about killing Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Akron Police officer James Anthony, a 23-year veteran of the department, took to Facebook on October 30 and questioned, "How is it that no one has offed that [expletive deleted] Farrakhan?" WKYC-TV reported at the time. A representative for the Nation of Islam said Farrakhan never wished for Anthony to lose his job, but leaders from the local NAACP chapter and the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent immediately condemned the remarks last year and demanded the months-long investigation that ultimately led to his dismissal. He had been suspended with pay since the internal investigation began in November.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and several city leaders announced this week that Anthony's termination from the police force was "warranted and just" through several statements.

Akron officer james anthony farrakhan
An Akron, Ohio police officer was fired this past week after a lengthy investigation into a Facebook post about killing Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Screenshot: James Anthony Facebook

"Following a full investigation of certain Facebook posts by Officer James Anthony and in accordance with the recommendation of Chief Kenneth Ball, Mayor Horrigan determined that Officer Anthony's social media posts meaningfully impacted the efficient operation of the Police Department in the discharge of its public mission, and therefore, terminated his employment," the city said in a statement.

"I commend the administration for their swift and appropriate action," said Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Samples, in a statement to Cleveland.com. "In a time when officers are living under a stigma of being 'bad cops' it only puts yet another dark cloud over a majority of good officers."

Perhaps prophetically, one of Anthony's Facebook friends replied to the October post, "Easy on that rhetoric, James. You'll be blamed for the next liberal, nutjob act of violence." To which James casually replied, "so?"

Anthony's controversial Facebook post about someone killing Farrakhan occurred only six days after a gunman entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and murdered 11 people during a Jewish Shabbat service. The Nation of Islam leader is frequently condemned by Jewish community leaders for making anti-Semitic remarks and touting conspiracy theories about Jews.

But Farrakhan's longtime representative, Brother Stephen Muhammad, had wished for a "teachable moment" rather than the officer's firing. "We felt that he was a sign of the sickness that exists in many departments throughout the country," Muhammad told Cleveland.com. "We wanted - and still wish - to explore ways to humanize black males, youth and poor people - regardless of their color."

"In his position, out here serving and protecting individuals in this community, it's scary that he would feel that way," Judi Hill, President of the Akron's NAACP, told WKYC-TV in November, criticizing his remarks.

The Akron Police Department issued jits official statement on Officer Anthony's firing earlier this week:

"The mission of the Akron Police Department is to enhance quality of life through crime prevention, enforcement of laws, promotion of safety, and reduction of fear. Actions by police officers that imply or demonstrate bias, work in direct opposition to this mission and will never be tolerated. Akron police officers are held to a high standard of conduct and integrity both on and off duty. Akron residents must have confidence that officers serving our community will treat all people with dignity and respect. Following a full investigation of certain Facebook posts by Officer James Anthony and in accordance with the recommendation of Chief Kenneth Ball, Mayor Horrigan determined that Officer Anthony's social media posts meaningfully impacted the efficient operation of the Police Department in the discharge of its public mission, and therefore, terminated his employment."

Akron Police Officer Fired Over Louis Farrakhan Facebook Post Asking Why Nobody Has Killed Him Yet | U.S.