UPDATE: Mayor reverses firefighter’s suspension over social media post

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A Lansing firefighter had his suspension reversed by Mayor Andy Schor after the Lansing Fire Department said he was suspended for two weeks without pay.

Lansing City Council Member Peter Spadafore released a statement on Facebook regarding the firefighter saying “I am pleased to hear that Mayor Schor has reversed the decision to suspend. Free speech is not limited to points on which we agree. I would like to see a thorough review of policies that led to this decision being made in the first place to ensure that employees of our city understand their obligations when representing the city but also are not afraid to express their personal opinions.”

The firefighter, Michael Lynn Jr., created a post on Facebook on April 14th that shows photos of Schor and African Americans that appear as part of a new marketing campaign on the Fire Department’s Facebook page. Schor was tagged in the post, which included a sharp critique of the city’s recent efforts to highlight the diversity among its ranks.

“White liberals want diversity and inclusion until the black man walks in the room. Then it’s back to the same old s***,” Lynn posted to Facebook. “White men don’t get to choose what diversity and inclusion looks like.”

“The initial determination was that the social media post was not in compliance with the department’s policy,” Schor said in a mid-day statement. “After reviewing the post, it’s clear to me that his statements were directed at my policies and not the Fire Department.”

Lynn posted a new status to facebook thanking Mayor Schor.

“I want to thank Andy Schor for reconsidering and making right this egregious attack on my first amendment rights. My hope going forward is that as written in my original Facebook post you will invite me to speak to you and begin the healing process for those who are hurting including myself. #ILOVELANSINGalways have! The time is now! We still have time to make this right!…”

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