A Texas prosecutor resigned after posting a meme that likened anti-racism protesters to Nazis

mmark@businessinsider.com (Michelle Mark)
Prosecutor Kaylynn Williford, with photos of Andrea Yates' five dead children on display for the jury, delivers closing arguments in the punishment phase of Yates capital murder trial March 15, 2002 in Houston.
Prosecutor Kaylynn Williford, with photos of Andrea Yates' five dead children on display for the jury, delivers closing arguments in the punishment phase of Yates capital murder trial March 15, 2002 in Houston.

Reuters

  • A Texas prosecutor resigned after sharing a meme that compared Black Lives Matter protesters with Nazis.

  • The meme noted that "Nazis tore down statues" adding the question, "Sound Familiar?"

  • The meme was widely interpreted as referring to the anti-racism and anti-police brutality protesters who have taken to the streets across the US in recent weeks.

  • The prosecutor, Kaylynn Williford, said in a statement she had not intended to make the comparison, and that she shared it because she thought it "promoted tolerance."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Texas prosecutor resigned on Monday after sparking outrage with a meme that compared Nazis with American activists who have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest racism and police brutality.

Kaylynn Williford, an assistant district attorney in Harris County, shared the post last week, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The post, which Williford shared but did not create, included a picture of a crate full of wedding rings.

"Wedding bands that were removed from Holocaust victims prior to being executed, 1945. Each ring represents a destroyed family. Never forget, Nazis tore down statues. Banned free speech. Blamed economic hardships on one group of people. Instituted gun control. Sound Familiar?" the caption read.

The post was likely referring to protesters who have demonstrated against the recent deaths of Black Americans in police custody, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks. Some activists have even vandalized or torn down statues of Confederate leaders or other monuments to historical figures.

A spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office told The New York Times the post had been "inappropriate" and confirmed that the office "took action and the employee resigned."

The post first drew criticism when a local criminal defense attorney shared a screenshot of Williford's post on Facebook, calling it "racist as f---."

Williford said in a statement that she had not intended to compare Black Lives Matter protesters to Nazis, and that she took the post down when she noticed criticism from a friend's daughter.

"What I interpreted as a post that promoted tolerance was taken in a completely different manner," she said, adding that it was untrue she compared the anti-racism movement to Naziism.

"Nothing could be further from the truth, but I have been judged and condemned on a shared post. That thought never crossed my mind," her statement said.

She also described cases she had handled in the past where she represented people of color who were wrongfully accused or convicted of crimes.

"I have spent my career defending the rights not only of victims, but those wrongfully accused. If you truly knew me, you would know I never meant anything malicious in sharing a Facebook post. I see now how it could be interpreted as hurtful, but again, that was never my intent," she said.

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