Mass. National Guard Suspends Soldier For 'Inflammatory,' 'Divisive' Comments About George Floyd Protests

Editor's Note: This story contains graphic language and details some may find disturbing.

The Massachusetts National Guard tweeted Tuesday that it suspended one of its soldiers as the military investigates whether he threatened to shoot anti-police brutality protesters in a disturbing social media post.

The Guard made the announcement about the suspension and investigation in reply to a tweet that showed a Snapchat screenshot of a young man's face and hand, along with a curse-ridden message that said:

"F--- your riots. Bullsh-- -ss motherf---in sh--" and "You're all stupid and I can't wait to shoot you tomorrow night."

(Swears were partially redacted by WBUR).

In the tweet posted Tuesday — to which the Massachusetts National Guard replied announcing the investigation — a person writes the young man in the screenshot is a member of the Guard named "Spencer." No last name was included. The Guard did not specifically identify the soldier it suspended and provided no additional details as of Tuesday afternoon.

In its tweet at around 2:30 p.m., the Massachusetts National Guard called the soldier's comments "inflammatory and divisive," adding the soldier would not "serve in any capacity" until the investigation concludes.

In a statement to WBUR, the Massachusetts National Guard reiterated the steps it took to remove a soldier, adding the branch "has a proven track record of fair and equitable service and takes pride in our diversity and inclusionary practices to support our residents in every community, and has not tolerance for this insensitive behavior."

The investigation was announced just hours before a vigil in Boston for George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer in Minneapolis kneeled on his neck for eight minutes, was set to take place.

It also occurs two days after thousands peacefully marched for justice for black victims of police violence on Sunday evening. After that official event had ended, pockets of the city saw tensions rise between police, protesters and others, and the Massachusetts National Guard was deployed to help restore order to the city.

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Lisa Creamer Managing Editor, Digital News
Lisa Creamer is WBUR's managing editor for digital news.



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