Blount Memorial Hospital has suspended an employee after racially charged and violent Facebook comments were posted Saturday.
Comments sent through Facebook Messenger show someone with the account name "Rachel Bowers" sent a message to someone else saying “Kill urself now black boy” and “pavement mfer.”
The person contacted by the Bowers account and to whom the insults were directed was not revealed, but screen captures of Bowers account — no longer on Facebook — show she listed BMH as her place of work, listing her position as "registered nurse."
The person contacted by Bowers' account said he or she would report the interaction to "ur job." It's not known who messaged the comments, only that they were under Bowers' account.
A screen capture of the conversation was posted to a Maryville community Facebook group and some personal accounts as well.
BMH responded to the outcry around 11 a.m. Saturday with a Facebook post of its own.
“We have been made aware of posts made by an employee on social media,” the Facebook statement said. “The employee has been suspended without pay, effective immediately."
The statement went on to say comments made in the post were "offensive and inappropriate" and not supported by the hospital's code of conduct. "They do not reflect the views or values of Blount Memorial Hospital,” the statement concluded.
In the hours following the statement, social media commenters condemned the messages and praised the hospital's action.
Commenters who said they were family members of those who received the racist messages claimed Bowers is engaged to a man who posted other racially motivated content on Facebook. That claim has not yet been verified by The Daily Times.
Specifically, screen captures show people alleging the man was known to call people "mutts" if they were black or of mixed ethnicity.
Its social media statement indicated BMH was investigating the matter.
More details on this story will be included in Sunday's newspaper.