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City Won't Appeal Reinstatement of Fired Akron Detective

photo of Akron Police Vehicle
An Akron officer terminated for a social media post will be allowed to have his job back.

The City of Akron has decided not to appeal a decision to reinstate fired Akron Police detective James Anthony. 

Anthony, a 23-year veteran of the Akron Police, is set to be reinstated to his former rank on January 6 according to a statement released by the city.

He was fired in February for a personal Facebook post following the Pittsburgh synagogue attack that left 11 people dead.  

In the post, he questioned why "no one has offed” Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for his anti-Semitic statements.

The arbitrator handling the case stated the conduct was unacceptable, but that a 60-day suspension was the appropriate action, not termination.

According to a report released by the city after Anthony’s firing, the detective had decades of infractions for misconduct relating to far-right political views and conspiracy theories.

Anthony will receive back-pay to the date the suspension would have ended, according to the ruling.

The City stated while it "strongly disagrees" with the arbitrator's assessment, careful consideration of the decision and legal precedent led to the decision not to appeal. The statement also indicated the city's intention "to manage its workforce appropriately in this era of pervasive use of social media, which can have a tremendous impact on our workplace and community."

The city statement included the following comment from Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan: "The values of APD include fair and impartial treatment of all individuals regardless of race, sex, gender, religion, or any other characteristic.  Building trust and mutual respect with our diverse community is essential to effective policing.  We recognize that the vast majority of our officers meet, and exceed, these standards every day as they serve and protect our citizens with fairness and respect.  We will continue to strive for the highest standard of conduct and we will accept nothing less.”

Carter is an award winning multimedia journalist specializing in audio reporting and photojournalism. His work has appeared in NPR, The Washington Post and The Portager, where he works as a photo editor and reporter. His reporting centers around working class issues and the LGBTQIA+ community with a focus on voter disenfranchisement.