A Fall River bus driver for the Southern Regional Transit Authority has been fired after joking about "real life target practice" in connection with George Floyd protesters in New Bedford.

The driver made the comments in a Facebook post this week. "Can anyone say Real Life Target Practice LOL," the man posted, followed by a series of emojis including laughing, crying, and middle fingers. "All the other protests were peaceful until sunset then rioting and looting begin."

The SRTA employee made the remarks while sharing a Facebook photo from a local activist showing protesters gathered on the Rt. 6 bridge linking Fairhaven and New Bedford last Sunday.

SRTA reportedly received many calls and emails about the post and announced on Facebook Wednesday that the bus driver had been fired.

“Our operator, South Coast Transit Management, has informed us that their Fall River Bus Operator who engaged in the insensitive and reprehensible conduct has separated from service effective immediately," SRTA announced. "SRTA, South Coast Transit Management and ATU Locals 174 & 1037, maintain a 'Zero Tolerance' policy when anyone associated with the Authority in any capacity seeks to demean or dehumanize another human being.”

Protesters in New Bedford have been active for more than a week following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 while his neck was beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. The incident has prompted demonstrations in cities across the country.

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