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A Jackson County public safety employee was terminated from his position June 5 following an internal investigation into an inflammatory post he made on a Gainesville social media page.

John Pethel, a training officer with the Jackson County Emergency Medical Service, posted a comment about recent Gainesville protest to The (Gainesville) Times newspaper Facebook page June 1.

Pethel's comment was in response to a post that said protesters were "again in Gainesville."

"Shoot them all," Pethel said in his comment.

He also engaged in some followup up comments about the issue, but the complete context of those is unclear.

All the comments have since been deleted and Pethel also apparently took down his Facebook page.

Pethel had been put on administrative leave June 4 after the comments became widely-known.

The comments come amid tensions over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis last month. Numerous protests have since rolled across the nation in communities large and small. Some have seen violent confrontations between police and protesters and widespread looting and vandalism has hit some areas.

Petrel's comments appeared not to be about violent protesters, however, but protesters in general.


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