Navy vet to RT: I was fired, called ‘terrorist’ for posting photos of DHS vehicles near Ferguson
Mark Paffrath, a Navy veteran, was fired and branded a “terrorist” for taking pictures of dozens of Homeland Security vehicles parked at the hotel where he used to work in Ferguson, as grand jury decision on Michael Brown shooting is due, he told RT.
Protesters are already gathering in and around St Louis for what they believe will be no indictment decision for the police officer who shot 18-year-old Ferguson resident Michael Brown.
The Department of Homeland Security is preparing, too. Mark Paffrath, who worked for the Drury hotel chain, about a 30-minute drive from Ferguson, managed to take photos of the vehicles the DHS in the hotel’s parking lot and posted them on social media.
It cost him his job.
RT:You were employed by Drury Plaza Hotel for about one and half years. Then you snapped several pictures of Homeland Security vehicles and uploaded them to your social media accounts. Can you explain what happened?
Mark Paffrath: On Thursday I posted the pictures and a short video of the vehicles and then it was a normal day after that. Went to work on Friday and called into the general manager’s office and he told me to remove the pictures and the short video, which I did and then it was a normal work day after that. Then come Saturday, I get called back in the office and the head of security for Drury was there and he told me I would no longer be employed by the hotel due to the fact that I posted a picture and a video on social media.
RT:How did your employer explain their actions?
MP: He actually called me a terrorist for doing it and that I dishonestly served my country in doing so.
RT:Are you planning to object to the actions of your employer in court?
MP: Yes, I have a lawyer in contact and he’s weighing the legal options as we speak. I have a meeting with him tomorrow.
RT:You added hashtags #Ferguson and #NoJusticeNoPeace. Why did you think the vehicles were connected to the events in Ferguson?
MP: I actually thought it was pretty obvious. I mean we never have 70-plus department of Homeland Security vehicles just sitting in a parking lot, waiting for training. I live in St Louis Missouri, not near the East Coast where DC is at, so I knew they weren’t doing training.
RT:How do you view the events in Ferguson right now?
MP: I’m actually with the Mike Brown supporters. I believe it was an injustice what they did and Darren Wilson deserves to be prosecuted for his actions.
I believe that since DHS threatened to end their $150,000 contract, which in the long term is what cost me my job.