‘Use live ammunition’ against Wisconsin protesters, Indiana official says
Update (02/23/2011, 3:15 pm ET): Indiana deputy attorney general loses job
The Indiana Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday that the deputy attorney general who called for Wisconsin riot police to use deadly force on protesters is no longer employed by the agency, according to WISH.
Update (2:30 pm ET): Indiana official delete personal blog
An Indiana deputy attorney general who called for Wisconsin riot police to use “live ammunition” on protesters has deleted hispersonal blog.
Jeff Cox had claimed that Mother Jones would try to “silence” him.
Original report continues below…
One official in Indiana suggested over the weekend that riot police should use deadly force on those protesting Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip unions of their rights.
A Saturday tweet from Mother Jones reported on the likelihood that police would soon be clearing the Wisconsin Capitol building of demonstrators.
“Use live ammunition,” a Twitter user named JCCentCom replied.
When confronted, the Twitter user stood by his words, insisting that the protesters were “political enemies” and “thugs.”
“[A]gainst thugs physically threatening legally-elected state legislators & governor? You’re damn right I advocate deadly force,” he wrote.
Mother Jones‘ Adam Weinstein later discovered that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general at the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
From the writings on his blog Pro Cynic, it seemed that this wasn’t the first time Cox had used over-the-top rhetoric against those he disagreed with.
“But he evinces contempt for political opponents — from labeling President Obama an ‘incompetent and treasonous‘ enemy of the nation to comparing ‘enviro-Nazis’ to Osama bin Laden, likening ex-Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Service Employees International Union members to Nazi ‘brownshirts’ onmultiple occasions, and referring to an Indianapolis teen as ‘a black teenage thug who was (deservedly) beaten up’ by local police,” Weinstein noted.
In an e-mail, Mother Jones asked Cox to provide some context for his remarks.
“For ‘context?’ Or to silence me? All my comments on twitter & my blog are my own and no one else’s. And I can defend them all,” he replied.
Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for the Indiana attorney general’s office, told the magazine that Cox’s comments were “inflammatory” and would be reviewed.
“We do not condone any comments that would threaten or imply violence or intimidation toward anyone,” he added.
“Individuals have the First Amendment right to post their own personal views in online forums on their own time but as public servants, state employees also should strive to conduct themselves with professionalism and appropriate decorum in their interactions with the public.”
As of Wednesday morning, Cox had declined to provide further explanation for his tweets or writings on his blog.
The battle for union rights was expected to move next to Indiana, where Democratic state senators had fled the state to run out the clock on a bill that would have weakened collective bargaining.