Dept. of Law investigating Facebook post from Alaska State Commission for Human Rights

Published: Mar. 15, 2019 at 7:06 PM AKDT
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According to a statement from Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the Dept. of Law is actively investigating a post made by the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Facebook page.

While the original post has been deleted, screenshots show a picture of a bumper sticker that says "Black Rifles Matter" below a silhouette of an assault rifle. The caption of the photo read "In what world is this OK?"

Comments from the commission on the thread asserted the notion that the bumper sticker is racist.

The owner of the truck, Brent Linegar, says he was parked at the commission offices while making repairs to the building's roof. He took to Facebook afterwards to defend his business, prompting thousands of post shares and comments on the matter of Second Amendment rights.

Before Linegar was made aware of the posts online, he found a note on his windshield which read "Please do not park this truck with that offensive sticker in this parking lot." The note was written on the back of a business card from Marti Buscaglia, the executive director of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. It was accompanied by a card from Kendall Rhyne, a parol and probation officer with the State of Alaska.

"Everybody wants to speak their piece, sometimes they leave a note on your car," Linegar said. "I honestly wasn't going to let it go any further than that."

Then Linegar learned that photos of his truck were online, and that an email had been sent to the owner of the building asking that any work agreement with Linegar's company be terminated.

"To be blasted on Facebook, that myself or any of my employees are racist, coming from that commission specifically is extremely concerning," Linegar said. "We feed 12 families out of this company."

Linegar told Channel 2 that the sticker is from a veteran support event in which his company participated, and that the only message it's meant to carry is pro-Second Amendment.

According to Buscaglia, her intent with the note wasn't to criticizing the constitutional right to bear arms, but she and several of her coworkers found the bumper sticker offensive due to its racial connotations.

"I saw that as something that could be offensive to a person of color," Buscaglia said. "It could be offensive to someone that believes that life is important for everybody. I didn't even think of it as a gun owner's group."

As far as the Dept. of Law investigation called for by the governor, a spokesperson provided this statement to KTUU Friday:

“Based on information and allegations involving State of Alaska employees and the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights, a thorough, fair and impartial investigation is being conducted to ascertain all relevant facts that surround this matter.”