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Sampson deputy fired after EBT comment on Facebook

Posted July 5

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— A Sampson County sheriff's deputy who disparaged people involved in a weekend shooting lost his job on Tuesday.

According to the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, deputies trying to break up several fights at the Lakewood Country Club early Sunday morning suffered cuts and vehicle damage, and one man involved in the fighting died of his injuries.

In response to a Facebook post that the fight participants "won’t be getting their deposit back,” Deputy Charles Patrick Foreman replied, “It don’t matter, it was paid for on EBT.”

EBT stands for electronic benefit transfer and is used to issue food stamps.

"The Sheriff’s Office is dependent upon the public trust to be effective in its mission. The men and women of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office work too hard to earn the trust and respect of the citizens. I do not condone or tolerate any behavior on the part of my employees that brings the integrity of the Sheriff’s Office into question,” Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said.

According to officials, Anthony King of Roseboro, died shortly after noon Monday from injuries he sustained in the fights. Other victims have been identified as Star Royal of Roseboro, Mary Denise Rich of Huntington, NY, and Daniel Cleveland Cooper of Salemburg.

The surviving victims had injuries that included head trauma, stab wounds and gunshot wounds, authorities said.

“You had close to a hundred people here. You had alcohol involved, which is always a recipe for disaster when you have that many people and alcohol involved,” said Captain Eric Pope with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office.


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  • Demute Sainte Jul 6, 9:57 a.m.
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    Free speech is being killed by the PC crowd.
    The Deputy should sue.

  • Roy Jones Jul 5, 9:43 p.m.
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    Well the truth hurts they use EBT to buy drugs at the corner store so why not rent a party house. If anyone would like to see how they really live go to www.world star.com and this will explains a lot.

  • Chris Holcomb Jul 5, 9:07 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Yes, you are correct regarding the legal scope of "free speech". I think the point is, we dont really have free speech in the sense most people expect...not if you can lose your job over something like that comment. Who cares if its the Federal Government vs your employer ruining your life? Free speech is a myth until there is protection that extends to your employment status, period. Sure you can't tell your boss to "get bent" as you said...there are reasonable limits. But this specific comment was just politically incorrect, and he was fired solely because the sheriff is an elected position and it was an appeal to the angry mob. Its not right, and people need to speak up. Political correctness is going to seriously harm this country if people sit on their hands and dont speak up as this nonsense keeps happening.

  • Jimmy Spunker Jul 5, 8:11 p.m.
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    Durham councilwoman posts ‘cops and soldiers’ most dangerous people with guns.

    Was this elected official fired?

  • Mike Berthold Jul 5, 7:29 p.m.
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    No. Freedom of speech means that you can say what you want and not be persecuted by the government. It doesn't protect you from being fired or negative consequences outside of government persecution. Walk up to your boss and tell him to get bent and see if your first amendment rights save your job.

  • Bruce Prather Jul 5, 5:42 p.m.
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    Hillary gets away with putting the security of the country at risk but this poor guy make a harmless mistake and looses his job. Yep, the system is rigged folks

  • Clif Bardwell Jul 5, 5:37 p.m.
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    I'm sorry, but I fail to find any sense in that. The whole point of freedom of speech is that you can speak without worrying that what you say will have negative consequences.

  • Chris Holcomb Jul 5, 5:29 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    I would argue that if you are under the threat of losing your job, you dont actually have freedom of speech. Losing your job is catastrophic for most people.

  • James Grimes Jr. Jul 5, 4:16 p.m.
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    Wow. Just ... wow.

  • Donald Holder Jul 5, 3:53 p.m.
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    I'll admit that he shouldn't have said that, but I don't think he should have been fired.