N.C. prison officer under review for anti-LGBT Facebook posts

Corrections employee used harsh anti-gay slur, cited anti-transgender scripture

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said Monday they will review and investigate a corrections officer’s anti-LGBT social media posts.

Dwayne Green, who has worked as an officer at Polk Correctional Institute in Butner since 2003, had posted anti-gay and anti-transgender posts on Facebook, including one photo in which a harsh anti-gay slur was used.

Both of Green’s posts were in response to a photo of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wearing male capri pants at a public event. A photo of Newton wearing the pants has circulated around the internet.

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In one posting, Green responded with a photo of his own. The photo pictured former President George W. Bush and the words “Yeah, bring in security” and “We got a huge f—t over here.”

In another post, Green quoted scripture from Deuteronomy, which prohibits men from wearing women’s clothes and women from wearing men’s clothes. That scriptural passage says doing so is an “abomination.”

Josh Roberts, a former Charlotte TV news producer, noticed one of the posts while on Facebook last week and said he was shocked.

“There’s a lot of anti-gay stuff out there and we’re exposed to that everyday, people saying snide comments or one thing or the other, but for some reason that really struck me,” Roberts said. “You rarely actually see the word ‘f—t’ and to see that word and to see it plastered on the face of a president of the United States was just stunning to me. I was like, ‘Oh my god.'”

Roberts’ concern was heightened once he learned Green was a corrections employee, citing concerns over the safety of LGBT prisoners who often face increased discrimination and trauma. A recent federal survey found that “non-heterosexual” inmates were three times as likely to report sexual abuse. Another study also found transgender women housed in men’s prisons in California were 13 times as likely to be sexually abused.

“This guy isn’t the type of person who should be responsible for the safety and well-being of other people,” Roberts said. “To see that kind of comment, it just turned my stomach.”

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Keith Acree, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, said the department is looking into the matter.

“It has been forwarded to management and the Department’s Professional Standards Office for review and investigation,” Acree said in an email late Monday afternoon.

Acree also provided a copy of the Division of Prison’s employee conduct policy, highlighting a section on social media usage.

The policy reminds employees they are “public servants who are held to a higher standard of general conduct and ethical standards,” and states, in part: “Prisons employees are prohibited from posting, broadcasting, or disseminating any material, comments, pictures, artwork, video or other references that are sexual, violent, racial, or ethnically derogatory on social networks, social media, personal web pages/sites, or other social mediums of communications.”

Acree also said basic correctional officer trainings include instruction on unlawful workplace harassment. The trainings, he said, include discrimination based on sexual orientation.

qnotes did call Green on Monday afternoon, but he sighed and promptly hung up when we explained why we were calling and asked for his comment.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

One Reply to “N.C. prison officer under review for anti-LGBT Facebook posts”

  1. This situation highlights the difficulty in separating citizen from employee. Mr. Green is free to post anything he wants on his personal webpages. If he was sharing this information at work or from work computers I can see an issue, otherwise freedom of speech should prevail. This is America and even if you disagree with another American you must defend his right to say what he wants. Besides it can be quite entertaining to watch fools open their mouths very wide and stick both feet in.

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