Coffee County Commissioner under fire for Facebook post
April 30, 2013 09:47 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A Coffee County Commissioner is under fire for a Facebook image he posted on Saturday.
Commissioner Barry West, of Manchester, posted an image of a man holding a gun with the words "How to Wink at a Muslim."
The post was immediately taken down, but for the American Center for Outreach, a Muslim non-profit group, the damage was already done.
"This is unacceptable to be posted by anyone, let alone an elected official. Such actions do incite hate, do incite actions of violence against communities," Remziya Suleyman, Director of Policy and Administration for the American Center for Outreach told Nashville's News 2.
The group is demanding an apology from West.
"I think he is responsible for what he posts and no, it is not a joke, this isn't something to laugh about," Suleyman said.
Nashville's News 2 attempted to contact Barry West at home, as well as by phone and email. West did not comment on the Facebook post.
However, Coffee County Mayor David Pennington, who oversees the County Commissioners, told Nashville's News 2, West's post isn't something he approves of.
"Even though I had nothing to do with it as Coffee County Mayor, I would like to apologize to the Muslim community," said Pennington.
Mayor Pennington said West posted the image on his private Facebook page, and there isn't much he can do.
"Once a commissioner leaves this building, he's on his own as a commissioner and we have no control at all over what a commissioner does," Pennington explained.
He added that there is no official action he can take against West, however the Commissioner will have to answer to his constituents.