California Mayor Who Compared Trump Supporters to KKK Dies in Plane Crash
Auburn Mayor William Kirby identified after plane went down near Auburn Airport
The mayor of a northern California city, who recently stepped down after comparing supporters of President Donald Trump to members of the Ku Klux Klan, has been killed in a plane crash, reports say.
Neon Nettle reported last week that Auburn Mayor William Kirby had compared the president and his supporters to the KKK, triggering a backlash online which prompted him to step down.
Kirby was identified after a small plane went down near Auburn Airport just after 11 a.m. local time, according to FOX 40 Sacramento.
His fellow passenger reportedly survived, but their identity is not yet known.
Kirkby faced a backlash from Auburn residents last week during a video city council meeting due to the coronavirus outbreak.
One of the mayor's social media posts was of a Ku Klux Klan hood, with the caption, “Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks,” FOX 40 reported.
The mayor also wrote on another post to another social media user:
"If Hitler and everyone who supported him were removed from the face of the earth in 1939, the world would be a much better place.
"The same is more true of Trump and his supporters today."
The Auburn Journal said Kirby had written on a repost of a story in the Atlantic under the headline, "The President is Trapped" saying:
"That right-wing coronavirus denier Boris Johnson just got hospitalized. Guess which two should be next!!!! And god bless all those evangelicals going to church in large groups…. There is no cure for stupid…. But they all vote for Trump anyway, so it is ok…."
Screenshots of an online exchange were Kirkby aggressively tells another person:
"F*** off you right-wing nut case" and "you un-American Nazi clown."
The posts were later taken down.
Auburn's mayor announced plans to step down Monday after outrage erupted over his recent social media posts regarding the president's supporters. https://t.co/h3EXJ1i10B— FOX40 News (@FOX40) April 14, 2020
Kirby blamed President Trump for the lack of proper gear and testing capabilities in his work as a doctor.
“This president has put us all at risk,” Kirby said.
Officials and the public heard a series of voicemails that the council received from angry residents angered by Kirby’s online posts.
The mayor of Auburn, CA is facing backlash tonight over controversial social media posts. One post appears to equate Trump supporters to members of the KKK. Mayor Bill Kirby has been a vocal critic of Pres Trump but community members say this crossed the line. Here's his response pic.twitter.com/6cr1Su1aN0— Bridgette Bjorlo (@bridgettebjorlo) April 13, 2020
“These comments are hateful, degrading, bigoted, and more consistent with the mentality of a 15-year-old,” one voicemail said, according to FOX 40.
The Mayor talked about the posts at the meeting and appeared remorseful.
“I spent 40 years dedicating my life to serving the community of Auburn as a physician and through my volunteer efforts. Am I perfect? No. We’re all a little flawed,” Kirby said.
Kirby planned to step down as mayor at the next council meeting on April 27.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the plane crash, according to California state fire officials.