Little did Aaron Hodges (pictured) ever fathom that two days after he passionately responded to a Facebook thread about the bully tactics utilized by many in law enforcement across the country, he would lose his job at a Portland, Ore. Nordstrom department store, according to KCTV 5 News.
Hodges joined a Facebook discussion about police excessive force and posted the following:
“Instead of slamming the police … every time an unarmed black man is killed, you kill a decorated white officer, on his door step in front of his family.”
Hodges claims he felt impassioned and did not mean for folks to take his comment literally. He only wanted for people to see that all lives are worthy of respect telling KCTV 5 News, “So, if (an officer) was shot in his doorstep, they’re going to have 21-gun salutes and vigils and black strips across the badge. What is Eric Garner getting?”
Hodges was referring to Garner, of Staten Island, New York, who was killed by police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who used a deadly chokehold on him for a seemingly innocuous offense (selling untaxed cigarettes). Pantaleo was allowed to walk away unscathed, as no charges were brought against him, and Pantaleo’s non-indictment amplified a series of cross-country protests against strong-arm police tactics.
Exactly how Hodges’ Facebook comment went viral is still unclear but his profile did state he worked at a Nordstrom’s. Customers of the retail giant began complaining on their Facebook and Twitter pages about the Hodges incendiary statement. Many of the comments painted a picture of a man who is a rabble-rouser. To this Hodges says, “The people who are out there on the internet, they have never interacted with me so it comes off as so abrasive that they’re like, ‘Wow, this guy must be some super radical.'”
Nordstrom’s powers-that-be decided to give Hodges the pink slip in response to the countless complaints they received from their irate clientele. They released the following statement:
“We want to be very clear that what this person chose to post from his personal account does not in any way reflect Nordstrom’s view – we do not tolerate violence, violent conversations or threats of any kind.”
Hodges told the news outlet he does understand the company’s position and accepts full responsibility for his actions. “I have the utmost respect for Nordstrom as a company,” he said.