SACRAMENTO -- Facebook messages posted by a member of Sacramento Metro Fire have been widely received as offensive and racist.
Don Martin, a Sac Metro Engineer, posted a message in August that said in part:
"Integrate the border with prisons…and shooting ranges…allowing American citizens to hone their skills…our tag line: illegal immigrants welcome. We need the target practice."
That post was accompanied by a picture Martin captioned “Trump’s wall.” In another post, Martin quotes his wife likening anti-Trump protesters to Planet of the Apes.
"To me, I find that very disrespectful. I find it sickening, and I find it pretty much racist,” said Keith Jouganatos, a Mexican-American student at Sac State.
He was one of the first people to bring attention to Martin’s Facebook page.
Jouganatos reposted both messages to a page promoting an anti-Trump protest on Tower Bridge Friday.
"I made a decision to post it because there are people like him who think it's OK to say these things. And I'm here to tell him it's not,” said Jouganatos.
He added that the comments raise alarms because Martin is trusted to handle situations where lives are on the line.
"Yeah, it makes me question everything about him as a person. He's in a position of power where he controls how people live or die in dangerous situations," he said.
The Sacramento area fire union, Local 522, didn’t want to comment on Martin's posts. Sac Metro Fire sent a statement saying quote:
“Metro fire does not condone statements which may be perceived as threatening or discriminatory towards members of the public we serve. Metro Fire cannot confirm whether the Facebook page or the posts are connected to any employee of the district. Metro Fire is currently investigating that claim.”
Jouganatos thinks the department needs to hold Martin accountable.
"They haven't made him apologize. They haven't made him do anything. So it makes me question the department that he works for."
Martin did not respond to direct calls and messages from FOX40 for a comment on this story.