A California nurse claimed Saturday that she was fired after allegedly saying on social media that Stephon Clark – an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by police – “deserved it for being stupid.”
Faith Linthicum said in a GoFundMe page that she was fired from her job at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento for “exercising my First Amendment right to free speech.”
“As a person of faith, and a nurse, I love all people and treat everyone equally,” Linthicum posted on the GoFundMe site. “Kaiser Permanente fired me without any investigation, and without giving me an opportunity to explain or defend myself. I believe Kaiser Permanente violated my First Amendment right to free speech in order to protect themselves from the wrath of these activists.”
Linthicum provoke a social media frenzy last week when she commented on a post about Clark’s death, the Sacramento Bee reported.
“Yeah but he was running from the police jumping over fences and breaking in peoples house…why run??!!! He deserved it for being stupid,” she allegedly wrote.
Her alleged comments were widely circulated on social media. One user reportedly wrote, “How can we trust our lives, the lives of our black and brown babies to these people? Nurses are supposed to help people not be happy when people die.”
Kaiser Permanente told Fox 40 in a statement last week that Linthicum was no longer with the hospital, but didn’t say whether she was fired.
"I believe Kaiser Permanente violated my First Amendment right to free speech in order to protect themselves from the wrath of these activists."
“Kaiser Permanente does not tolerate hate or discrimination and has a long history of embracing diversity and inclusion – it remains a place where we welcome everyone,” a statement from the company read. “We want to emphasize that the comments expressed by this employee, who is no longer with the organization, do not in any way reflect Kaiser Permanente’s views or actions.”
Linthicum claims that she is now unable to pay rent and care for her two dogs. She hopes to raise $25,000 and has received more than $1,500 in just a few days.
Clark’s killing had sparked protests throughout Sacramento. Police body cam footage showed Sacramento police officers fired at Clark 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard March 18. Clark’s autopsy results, released Friday, revealed he had been shot eight times, including seven times from behind.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.