WV National Guard investigates ‘inflammatory comments’ regarding national protests

West Virginia

UPDATE 3:25 p.m. 6/2/2020: CHARLESTON, WV (AP) – The West Virginia National Guard is pursuing disciplinary action against a guardsman who posted on social media that he would shoot at people protesting the death of George Floyd.

The guardsman, Noah Garcelon, has already resigned from his position as an officer with the Winfield Police Department after making the comments.

In a series of now-deleted posts, Garcelon wrote that he would “start firing live rounds” at protesters and “see how many I can run over before my car breaks down.”

Major General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard said Tuesday that the agency will take the appropriate disciplinary action on Garcelon.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Adjunct General of the West Virginia National Guard Maj. Gen. James Hoyer says the Guard is looking into an incident where a member allegedly made “inflammatory comments” on social media.

“It’s my responsibility as the head of the organization, to the governor, to make sure that when we make mistakes and do things wrong that we take responsibility and take corrective action,” Maj. Gen. Hoyer says. “We’ll be taking the appropriate disciplinary action related to that individual or any others we may find that make inflammatory comments related to protests going on across the nation.”

Maj. Gen. Hoyer says the Guard does have a social media policy, which will be addressed. He says the policy is clear as to what guidelines members should follow relating to Army and Air Force values.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says he is proud of the way West Virginians have conducted peaceful protests across the state and says the protesters’ voices are being heard rather than being overshadowed by violence.

“It was despicable, what happened to George Floyd. We all know that,” Justice says. “But that doesn’t lead us on to these things that are just completely away from the respect and the movement to try to improve things and do what’s right. And we cannot have the other end of it where we get violence and looting.”

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