TOLEDO (WTVG) - Toledo Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Byrd made a passionate post on social media this weekend, about how it feels to be both black and a civil servant during a time of civil unrest.
The Chief says he believes in productive protesting, but he doesn't believe in the destruction of people or property.
Chief Byrd is known for his activism within the Black community when it comes to issues like health. He says he understands the pain many African Americans are feeling in this moment and enjoyed the peaceful protests downtown Saturday, but says he didn't expect it to get out of hand.
"We saw what looked like smoke bombs coming from the protesting side of the crowd into the protesting side of the crowd," he says. "There were fireworks being launched into the crowd from other people in the car."
Toledo Police and the mayor have stated that some of the assembled crowd threw M80s at police.
"My son happened to call me right as I am watching this, asking where he can park downtown to participate," says Byrd. "So, as this is all going on I see it start to go south, I was trying to convince my son not to come down here."
Byrd's 21-year-old son decided to stay home.
The fire chief's outrage led to a passionate statement posted on Facebook about being a black civil servant in which he wrestles with his anger over the very circumstances which led to the protests, and his job as a firefighter to protect and serve his community.