The West Virginia columnist who called Michael Brown an “animal” who had to be put down has scrubbed the offending post from his personal blog.
The Charleston Daily Mail’s Don Surber used the post, which was published Saturday, to weigh-in on both “police brutality” and Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Brown in Ferguson, Mo. this summer.
“This summer I had an epiphany as I watched packs of racists riot in Ferguson, Missouri, in support of a gigantic thug who was higher than a kite when he attacked Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson, who unfortunately had to put this animal down,” Surber wrote.
Surber’s higher-ups at the Daily Mail raised concerns as soon as they saw the post, and on Sunday the writer added a sarcastic update to the entry.
“I made a factual error. Michael Brown was not an animal but a man. Big. Brutal. High,” Surber wrote in the update. “His death was a justifiable homicide and not a putting down.”
Surber also crossed out the description of Brown as an “animal.”
When reached by phone on Tuesday, the Daily Mail’s editor and publisher Brad McElhinny was apologetic for Surber’s writing.
“We’re sorry about the impression Mr. Surber gave. That’s not the view of the paper as a whole,” he told TPM. “His words were uncareful and he is aware of that. He is aware that although it was his personal blog, people realize he is a columnist and an editorial writer for the paper and it’s certainly affected our reputation.”
McElhinny declined to say if Surber would be punished, although he acknowledged that the newspaper had “been in discussions directly involving Don” since the post was published.
On Wednesday, McElhinny told TPM in an email there were still no updates on Surber’s status with the paper.