City Council candidate under fire for controversial Facebook post

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A candidate for Richmond city council came under fire for a Facebook post that some believe glorifies violence and disrespects women.

Dorian Daniels is running to represent the city’s third district. Over the weekend he uploaded a photo of himself inside a gun store, his finger on the trigger of a rifle. The caption reads, “Gotta stay locked and loaded.”

2A99BE5D141A45F180B335ED06D42F6CThe people who were upset about the post said there is no problem with legally owning a gun, but told 8News it is reckless for someone running for office to display a weapon in such a manner.

“I was pretty shocked,” Spencer Turner, a resident in Richmond’s north side, said of his initial reaction to the Facebook post.

Turner and other third district voters expressed outrage online that someone running to represent them would post something like this online.

“Not only was he holding the gun, but he had his finger on the trigger,” Turner added.

Amid a national climate of violence, and in a district that has seen more than its share, several online commenters said it was inappropriate for a community leader to use a photo featuring a gun as their profile picture on Facebook.

In the comment section of the post, Daniels used an emoticon appearing to be brought to tears by laughter at a friend’s profane joke about shooting women. “I needa shoot some h—s,” the comment read.

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“(Daniels) thought that was sort of respectable humor for someone who’s going to be representing women and men and the city government,” Turner pointed out.

Another constituent called the photo and comments ‘profoundly disturbing.’ After Facebook users began calling him out, Daniels took down the post.

“Once you go out in the public eye, you have no expectation of privacy. That’s just it,” Turner told 8News Reporter Matthew McClellan.

In a statement sent to 8News, Daniels apologized for the photo, adding that he understands the emotions people are feeling in light of recent events:

I first would like to apologize for the controversial photo that has been the topic of discussion on social media. As a member of the NRA, and a concealed weapons holder, I will always exercise my legal right for “The Second Amendment”. I can understand the emotions that people are feeling in light of the recent string of murders not only in the City of Richmond, but across the world.  I can’t control what others post and express on my personal Facebook page because it’s open to family and friends. As a precaution, I have deactivated that page to continue on the journey of fighting for the real issues that surrounds the 3rd District.

Daniels is running against incumbent Chris Hilbert for the council seat, along with Milondra Coleman and Hassan Fountain. They’ll square off in the general election in November.

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