LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of demonstrators filled Lowell Sunday to show their support for the former police chief who was forced to resign after a controversial Facebook post supporting a group armed against potential protesters.
Chief Steven Bukala was told to resign by 5 p.m. Thursday or that he would be fired at 5:01 p.m., according to documents obtained Friday by News 8. He resigned by email.
On Sunday, supporters showed up in Lowell to protest Bukala’s forced resignation.
“All in all, I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to somebody else because I’ve seen it with other departments where people get screwed out of their pensions,” said event organizer Jamie Lett.
Craig Schroeder traveled from the Ionia County community of Palo for the event. He was among the protesters who felt Bukala was dealt a bad hand and the city’s response was a blow to the Second Amendment.
“All people wanted to do was come help support him,” said Schroeder. “He said, ‘Sure,’ and now he gets fired over it. It’s wrong.”
The use of a Confederate flag in some of the armed group’s Facebook photos caught some of the heaviest flack.
“I think it’s a part of our history,” said Schroeder. “It’s done and over with. We don’t have slavery anymore, but it’s still a part of our history.”
“A lot of people still see it as a racist gesture,” said Lett. “Others see it as their right to fight the man, but those are not my children. (It’s) not my issue.”