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Don’t state employees have free speech rights? | READER COMMENTARY

Arthur "Mac" Love IV, at a Monday afternoon press conference in the 300 block of N Pulaski Street. He was fired by Gov Larry Hogan's administration for social media posting. August 31, 2020
Arthur "Mac" Love IV, at a Monday afternoon press conference in the 300 block of N Pulaski Street. He was fired by Gov Larry Hogan's administration for social media posting. August 31, 2020 (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

The Baltimore Sun’s article, “State official fired for defending teen accused in Wis. shooting” (Aug. 29), stating that a Maryland employee was fired for posting “divisive images and statements” on social media is very troubling.

What is happening to our First Amendment right of free speech? We do not have a right to not be presented with speech we deem offensive. The fact that anybody taking the time to watch the videos of the shooting will see that the 17-year old was defending himself is irrelevant to this situation. The only relevant issues are whether the terminated employee posted to social media while working or by using a government computer, and neither of those issues were addressed in the article.

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I ask that everybody respect other’s right to free speech without fear of harm.

Russ Swatek, Columbia

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