When Davie fire Lt. Richard
It wasn't long before the fire department found out. Soon,
Now the 14-year veteran is suing the Broward County municipality, claiming his First Amendment rights have been violated.
"This case is much bigger than Richard
A spokeswoman for the town said she couldn't immediately comment on the lawsuit.
But Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter was among the 17 students and school staff shot to death during the Valentine's Day mass shooting, told New Times it's unfortunate that a person in a position of public trust would characterize him that way.
At the same time, he says he's become accustomed to online vitriol since becoming a prominent advocate for gun control. "I live every second with this image of my daughter running down that hallway," Guttenberg says. "I'll never get that out of my head. And that to me is what bothers me, you know? The fear and anxiety that she had
In April, North Miami Beach Police Officer Ericson Harrell was assigned to desk duty after ranting on Facebook about shooting survivors being paid actors involved in a false-flag operation. And in May, Coral Springs Officer Brian Valenti was suspended after posting that he hoped someone might run over Hogg.
After that, Fire Chief Julie Downey wrote in a letter of demotion that
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
In the complaint,
He argues that a sense of "embarrassment" is not "a legitimate reason for muzzling an employee's speech," and says he's decided to sue because his First Amendment rights are "too important to him" to stay quiet.
The complaint also says he "regrets the way he framed the issue."
But Guttenberg says that unlike blurting something out, "when somebody's angry enough at me to call me a scumbag online, that takes thought... I wish local people who lived through this experience with us would be a little bit understanding about why I do what I do. But that's the funny thing about social media — people pop off, and they don't care about the consequences."