BOSTON (CBS) — A veteran Boston firefighter is on paid administrative leave after “disturbing” social media posts were discovered by authorities.

Fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald told WBZ-TV that Octavius Rowe, who has been with the department for 15 years, was placed on administrative leave October 2.

MacDonald, who described the posts as “disturbing” and “violent,” said they did not reflect the values of the department.

One post showed a man carrying another man’s decapitated head and said “Nat Turner’s slave rebellion,” MacDonald said.

facebookpost Boston Firefighter On Leave After Disturbing Social Media Posts

A Facebook post, which has been cropped to omit graphic content, shared by a Boston firefighter.

On Facebook, Rowe is listed as vice president of the Boston Society of Vulcans, a group for black and Hispanic firefighters.

There is no evidence that anything criminal took place.

firefighter Boston Firefighter On Leave After Disturbing Social Media Posts

Octavius Rowe, a Boston firefighter. (WBZ-TV)

Boston Police and Fire Departments are investigating.

As a precaution, MacDonald said, a police officer was stationed outside of the fire department after Rowe was put on administrative leave.

“Certainly firefighters, police officers and EMTs, public safety officials need to be held to a higher standard,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told WBZ-TV. “We’ll see what happens as we move forward here. I don’t have all the particulars about what happened, and I don’t want to get into it because there is an open investigation.”


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