The Nashville City Council will consider paying $450,000 to a firefighter who accused most of them of being "White supremacists."
The city’s legal department recommended the sum due to the 16-day suspension handed to firefighter Joshua Lipscomb following his social media post on Feb. 3. Lipscomb maintains a comedy account for his YouTube channel "JoshuaBlackComedy."
On that account, he said, "I hate feeding into the illusion that America’s government and existence is legitimate so I'm no fan of voting, but the majority of Nashville City Council is White supremacists."
"I know it’s boring, but millennials HAVE to start caring about local elections. These folk want us dead."
Lipscomb did not identify himself as a firefighter in the post, but a Nashville Fire Department panel later concluded that he had violated department policy, The Tennessean reported. He also previously served an eight-day suspension in 2020 for allegedly harassing a local business owner with his account.
Lipscomb had criticized the city for approving a license plate reader program, which would allow police to use devices to automatically scan and identify vehicles. The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that the use of such devices greatly enhances law enforcement’s ability to investigate crimes, but that some worry about how the retention of the information may infringe on individuals’ privacy.
The Nashville City Council narrowly approved the pilot program, which would run for six months, after a year of discussion.
Lipscomb had posted separately that the pilot program would hit hardest on "the busiest streets" which is "where black and brown ppl live!"
Lipscomb responded to his suspension by suing the city for restricting his free speech, and lawyers eventually suggested the nearly half-million-dollar settlement. His initial appeal received support from 11 council members, who wrote a one-page letter to Fire Department Chief William Swann saying that the department should "affirm Mr. Lipscomb’s right to share his opinions."
Swann had written a letter to the council to express that "the opinions and views of that particular employee are not that of the Nashville Fire Department."
Lipscomb’s lawyer called the suspension a "deeply troubling" decision from the city that aimed to "stifle free speech about such important issues."
City council members run as "nonpartisan," despite whatever party affiliation they may have previously registered.
The $450,000 settlement would comprise a $25,000 payment from the fire department and the rest from the city council.
Lipscomb did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment by time of publication.