Blackduck mayor resigns after sharing meme of violence against protestors

The mayor of eight years said his sharing of the meme was taken out of context.

The mayor of a small town in northern Minnesota has resigned after backlash from a Facebook post that seemed to promote running over peaceful protesters. 

Rudy Patch, the now-former mayor of the City of Blackduck, issued a letter of resignation on Monday, admitting that he "made a mistake by sharing a post without the correct context behind it."

Screen grabs of the now-deleted post show that Patch shared a meme of a vehicle covered in blood with the caption: "I don't know what you mean by protesters on the freeway. I came through no problem." 

"The post was in reference to a conversation I had the night before. I ran across this post the next day and wanted to share it with that person. I did not like the post. I did not see humor in the post. It was meant for the individual to recognize how bad it could be to drive through protesters. And also, if you are going to protest, to do so safely because this could happen," Patch wrote in his resignation letter

"It is not and never had been my intention to support running over protesters." 

Patch then said it "is heartbreaking to have heard that protesters were run over," though it's unclear where protesters were run over. In Minnesota, there was a close call as the driver of a tanker truck sped towards hundreds of protesters on the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, but he stopped before hitting anyone.

Patch's resignation comes on the heels of a similar situation involving two Sauk Rapids firefighters, who were fired as a result of sharing offensive posts to social media related to the tanker truck scare in Minneapolis. 

One of the firefighters shared an image of a semi-trailer with blood spattered on the hood, with the meme saying: "Just drove through Minneapolis. Didn't see any protesters."

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The City of Sauk Rapids issued a press release confirming the pair had been released after they became aware of "troubling comments on social media regarding the protests taking place following the tragic death of George Floyd.

"I believe ALL lives matter," wrote Patch. "I would like to get training available to myself and anyone that has interest in learning more about racism, to make things better for our community and world."

Patch accepted responsibility for his "mistake" and parted with final words saying he hopes the city council "takes the time to put in place some good racism training policies." 

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