Indiana Official on Wisconsin Protesters: Shoot Them

'Deadly force' tweets not great idea, admits deputy AG Jeff Cox, who was axed
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2011 3:05 AM CST
Ind. Official Axed After Urging Wis. Protesters Be Shot
Teamsters President James Hoffa speaks in the state Capitol in Madison yesterday on the ninth day of protests over the governor's plan to eliminate union rights for many state workers.   (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

An Indiana deputy attorney general has been sacked after he urged the use of "live ammunition" on Wisconsin protesters, reports Mother Jones. The magazine reported earlier this week on its Twitter page that Madison riot police appeared to be preparing to sweep protesters from the Wisconsin capitol building. Jeffrey Cox responded: "Use live ammunition." He also characterized the protesters as "thugs physically threatening legally elected" politicians. "You're damn right I advocate deadly force" he tweeted.

The attorney general's office of Indiana, which is currently grappling with protests over the same issue, axed Cox after a "thorough and expeditious review." While "we respect individuals' First Amendment right to express their personal views on private online forums, as public servants we are held by the public to a higher standard, and we should strive for civility," the office said in a statement. Cox has acknowledged writing the tweets. He call them "satirical," adding: "I think we're getting down a slippery slope here in terms of silencing people who disagree." But he added that his comments were "not a good idea." (More Madison, Wis. stories.)

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