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Firefighter demoted over racist Facebook rant

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Brian Beckmann, the fire captain at the center of a race row over a Facebook post related to the Trayvon Martin case, has been demoted to the lowest rank of firefighter.

According to CBS4, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue will announce on Monday that it is no longer comfortable in having Beckmann in a supervisory position.

In addition to the demotion from the top rung of his firehouse ladder to the bottom, Beckmann is likely to take a substantial financial hit. CBS4 claims it uncovered documents showing that the former captain was paid $125,616 while holding that rank in 2007.

Beckmann, who’s likely to appeal the decision, will need to undergo a psychological exam and undertake diversity training courses before returning to work. He is on paid medical leave.

Any appeal could take up to six months, during which time Beckmann will have to continue to work under the rank of firefighter.

Beckmann made his fateful post on the same day prosecutor State Attorney Angela Corey announced charges against George Zimmerman. The Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watchman was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Martin.

“I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs Corey, we speak only the truth,” Beckmann wrote on Facebook. “They're just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn't have anything to do with why people wonder if they're about to get jacked by a thug."

Beckmann had defended the post, claiming that he was speaking as a private citizen.

A number of angry residents protested the investigation into Beckmann, with some questioning what was taking so long and others calling for him to be fired. An online petition calling for Beckmann’s removal from the department garnered more than 1,300 signatures.

The mayor of Miami-Dade County wanted to fire him, though the fire chief and his union stood behind him, Beckmann told the Local 10 news outlet.

Photo by ElvertBarnes