A Mississippi man has been fired from his job after a photo of him voting while wearing a racially charged T-shirt sparked outrage all over the internet.
The jarring image shows a white male wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the image of a Confederate battle flag with a noose in the middle and the words “Mississippi Justice.”
According to The Daily Mail, after the picture went viral, residents of Olive Branch, Mississippi were able to identify the man as Clayton John Hickey, a former police officer, who now works as a registered nurse at the Regional One Health hospital in Memphis.
The voter at the polling station who took pictures – identified only as “Rashaud” -told BuzzFeed News he did it due to safety concerns.
“When I saw him, I wanted to say something, but my mom was like, ‘Don’t say anything,’ so I took a picture and posted it on Facebook,” Rashaud explained.
Wednesday Regional One Health addressed the controversy on Twitter.
“Regional One Health takes the health and well-being of our patients and the community we serve seriously,” a spokesperson for the hospital said in a statement.
They also assured the public that they were “actively investigating the allegation related to an employee. We understand the very intense feelings around this serious situation & know everyone wants updates.”
On Thursday it was confirmed that Hickey had been terminated.
“We have completed our investigation and what we learned led to the termination of the employee in question,” the announced. “Regional One Health holds employees to a high standard. We are committed to upholding our mission to provide compassionate care and exceptional services to all. This includes fostering a safe and protected work and care environment for all. Behaviors contrary to these principles are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
According to LocalMemphis.com, Hickey resigned from being a Memphis police officer after he was caught with open alcohol and a 17-year-old girl. Even though he has lost his nursing job, he also has his EMT license, so his days of serving the public may not be over.
While his actions were offensive, what he did was not illegal, so DeSoto County officials say they are no longer investigating the incident.
I was in line with my boys at the same time. I was disgusted and horrified. We all were. He does not speak for the majority of our city. I wish I had spoken up but I didn’t want to bring attention to him.
— Ashleigh Parker (@23ashparker_) November 7, 2018