Florida prosecutor suspended after Facebook rant about downtown Orlando
By Keith Allen and Madison Park
(CNN) — A Florida assistant state attorney has been suspended after allegedly writing controversial Facebook posts slamming the type of people in downtown Orlando and those who go to nightclubs.
The posts were made shortly after Sunday’s deadly attack on Pulse nightclub.
In the initial Facebook post provided by the State Attorney’s Office, Kenneth Lewis allegedly described downtown Orlando as “a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs.”
Lewis also singled out Orlando’s nightclubs in a second social media rant, writing: “All Orlando nightclubs should be permanently closed. With or without random gunmen they are zoos; utter cesspools of debauchery.”
Lewis is a prosecutor for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, which includes Orlando, and, more widely, Orange and Osceola counties. Lewis prosecuted major felony and homicide cases, according to CNN affiliate WFTV.
His employer, the State Attorney’s Office, suspended Lewis on Friday on suspicion of violating the social media policy, according to a statement. Lewis had signed a social media policy, which is part of the state attorney’s office code of conduct, Ninth Judicial Circuit public information officer Angela Starke said.
“Failure to comply can result in discipline up to and including termination,” the statement says.
Information about the length of Lewis’ suspension and whether it is paid or unpaid wasn’t immediately available, Starke told CNN.
CNN’s attempts to reach Lewis for comment Saturday weren’t immediately successful.
Lewis is no stranger to social media-related controversy. He was ordered to undergo sensitivity training after authoring a 2014 Facebook post that wished a “Happy Mother’s day to all the crack hoes out there,” WFTV reported.
After his controversial comments, the State Attorney’s Office reviewed 55 of the cases he prosecuted to look for signs of bias or prejudice. Lewis was subsequently cleared of bias, WFTV reported.