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Mass. National Guard takes soldier out of active service for ‘inflammatory and divisive comments’

In April, Massachusetts National Guard soldiers helped with logistics at a food distribution site in Chelsea. A member of the Guard was placed on inactive service after he made “inflammatory and divisive comments.”
In April, Massachusetts National Guard soldiers helped with logistics at a food distribution site in Chelsea. A member of the Guard was placed on inactive service after he made “inflammatory and divisive comments.”Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Massachusetts National Guard has taken a soldier out of service after he made “inflammatory and divisive comments,” a spokesman for the organization said Tuesday.

The soldier, who was not identified by the Guard, has been placed on “inactive status and will not serve in any capacity while this matter is under investigation.” The Guard did not offer any details regarding the comments that prompted the action or the hometown of the soldier.

The social media post in question included the phrases “(Expletive) your riots” and “You’re all stupid I can’t wait to shoot you tomorrow night,” according to a source briefed on the situation.

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"The Massachusetts National Guard has a proven track record of fair and equitable service and takes pride in our diversity and inclusionary practices to support our residents in every community, and has no tolerance for this insensitive behavior,” said Don Veitch, a spokesman for the Massachusetts National Guard in a Tuesday statement, responding to Globe requests for comment.

An FBI spokeswoman said that agency is aware of an inflammatory social media post made by a member of the state’s National Guard, but declined to comment beyond that.

The news comes less than two days after the Massachusetts National Guard was sent to Boston to help maintain order after unrest followed a peaceful march that protested the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of police.

Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and saying he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the country, some of which became violent.

In Boston Sunday night, at least 53 people were arrested, and nine police officers were taken to the hospital in the tumult that followed the demonstration, as were 18 bystanders, according to authorities.

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On Monday, demonstrators again staged protests in Boston, first in West Roxbury and later in Grove Hall, each of which was peaceful.

The Massachusetts National Guard, which is the oldest state National Guard in the country, dating back to 1636, has about 8,000 members.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.