After making an anti-police joke on Facebook, an auto shop employee agrees with his employer’s decision to fire him.
Gene Stretch, a former employee at Wayne Moore’s A+ Auto Collision in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, was fired after he posted a picture of a police car on Facebook and joked about cutting the brake lines.
As an ex-con, he told Cox Media Group that the idea of him servicing a patrol car seemed ironic.
“There was never any hate intentions,” Stretch said to Cox Media Group.
However, within hours, concerned residents from throughout the country contacted Stretch, the auto shop, and Sand Springs Police Department.
“We’ve had calls from New Work, Indiana, Ohio,” said Sand Springs Police Department Chief Mike Carter.
The company’s Facebook page has reportedly been taken down, and all of the Google Reviews for the auto shop refer to the incident with Stretch.
"They were trusted to work on a police cruiser for their local sheriffs department and had the audacity and stupidity to post on social media how they wanted to cut the brake lines," wrote Joe Ward.
“Honest and respectable owner, he shouldn't be punished for the actions of one employee's unacceptable social media post,” wrote Josiah Rob. “The employee was taken care of and I would absolutely recommend this body shop to anyone.”
Once police realized that Stretch did not have any intentions to harm anyone connected to the department, they decided to let the auto shop determine how to handle the incident.
“I don’t think that’s appropriate for us to use our police powers to go after somebody in that manner,” Carter explained.
Carter was pleased at the outpouring of support that the department received, especially since police brutality and corruption have made headlines throughout the nation in recent months.
“We received much more support from people calling us about a negative police statement that the actual post got support of that was the thing to do,” Carter said.
According to Cox Media Group, Wayne Moore’s A+ Auto Collision stated that firing Stretch was necessary in order to send a statement that the business does not support Stretch’s comments.
The former employee agrees with the decision to fire him, and said is he appreciative of the role police officers play in the community.
“They put their lives on the line to keep this community safe,” Stretch said.