La Marque Fire Captain Alfred Decker seems to have a love-hate relationship with profanity, and exactly what constitutes appropriate public behavior. He has been placed on paid administrative leave after writing and sharing posts on his Facebook page which feature profanity and insults to public officials, including Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
He recently posted an image of President Barack Obama, with a noose tied around his neck, with the caption “The Making of a National Holiday” – it was posted just in time for Martin Luther King Day.
All of which should be protected by the First Amendment. We all have the right to free speech, right?
But… Decker has proven in a very public way that he has no legitimate reason to claim that right.
You might remember that this is the same firefighter who arrested a woman at the La Marque Wal Mart for cussing in 2008.
In August of that year, local mom Kristi Fridge made a last minute run to Wal Mart to buy batteries, with Tropical Storm Edouard expected to land within hours. When Kristi found the battery shelf empty, she commented to her mother, “They are f—ing out of batteries!” At that moment, Decker, in uniform, poked his head around the corner and told her to “watch her language” and initiated a confrontation with her. She politely suggested that she wasn’t speaking to him, and tried to ignore him. She was soon handcuffed, taken out of the store, and detained by Decker, who was then Assistant Fire Chief.
She was ultimately charged (by a fireman!) with Disorderly Conduct, a charge which was later dismissed.
You’d think an assistant fire chief, with a hurricane on the way, would have better things to do. How much safer does it make all of us? At the time, I was told by a city official that Decker is a decent, churchgoing man. Hmmmm.
So, according to Alfred Decker, it is a crime for an adult to use the f-word in a private conversation with her mother, but it is okay for Decker to post profanity on a public Facebook page that can be seen by anyone.
What happened here is the case of a First Responder firefighter with a God complex, very likely a wannabe cop, taking out his frustrations on someone who didn’t fall down and worship his tin badge. In other words, an asshole.
And now that same asshole will probably come arrest me for calling him an asshole in this article!