NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A veteran North Texas special investigator with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, often referred to as CPS, has been fired after using racially inflammatory remarks on her personal Twitter account.
Most of the offensive tweets posted by Rita DeShannon centered on the George Zimmerman murder trial and Trayvon Martin case.
CPS spokesperson Patrick Crimmins said it took less than 24 hours for department to take action against DeShannon. “We found out that she had posted some offensive tweets… what could be considered racist tweets. So, we took a look at the tweets and pretty quickly determined that we would move toward termination.”
In one tweet DeShannon, under the account TexasPeanut, made the suggestion that, “Every white American needs to own a gun and teach your family gun safety and how to shoot…your family is a target now…it will get worse.”
Crimmins said her actions were way out of line; especially for the line of work she was in. “Child Protective Services is in the community all the time. They are frontline representatives of not only CPS, but of the State of Texas,” he explained. “They work with families all the time. Special Investigators work as law enforcement liaisons.”
On Twitter DeShannon used a made-up n-word term to refer to African American supporters of Trayvon Martin. Then in a tweet posted less than a week ago she said, “I’m not racist..I’ll kill any color of person who tries to kill me first!”
Officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services determined that DeShannon violated her ethical responsibilities to the children and families served by CPS. Crimmins said, “Working on the kinds of child abuse cases that we deal with she would also be called as a witness in criminal trials. And one of the things that’s very important for people who work in Child Protective Services is that they maintain their credibility with law enforcement and with the courts.”
DeShannon had been with CPS for 10 years. Her first position was as a foster care worker and she had been an Ellis County-based special investigator since 2010.
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