The company that fired the stepmother of former Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe, who was involved in the fatal Rayshard Brooks arrest, has released a second statement about the decision to terminate her.
The news went viral on Thursday after Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran a segment on the officer’s stepmother, saying, “Until today, his stepmother, her name is Melissa Rolfe, was the HR director at a place called Equity Prime Mortgage in Atlanta, Georgia.”
“But today, she was let go. She’s no longer in that role. Apparently she was fired, and her only crime was being officer Rolfe’s stepmother,” Carlson continued. “According to a source familiar with the matter who spoke to this program, Rolfe was promised that her job was safe, but today she was told, ‘We have to terminate our relationship with you.’ No other explanation was offered and honestly no other explanation was needed. It was obvious what happened.”
Later during his show, Tucker stated that the company had reached out during a commercial break and provided a statement saying that Melissa Rolfe had been fired over social media posts, to which Carlson responded on air: “The bottom line is, it seems pretty clear they fired this woman because of who her step son was. And just to restate the obvious, that shouldn’t happen in this country because it’s wrong and people should say it’s wrong, or it will continue to keep happening.”
Equity Prime Mortgage later posted a second statement on their Twitter account:
As an employer, it is imperative to maintain a safe environment for all employees. Melissa Rolfe’s termination was a direct result of her actions in the workplace and violation of company policy. While working with Melissa as she transitioned to a leave of absence granted by our organization, we discovered she violated company policy and created an uncomfortable working environment for many of our employees. As an HR director, she ultimately lost the confidence of her peers, leadership, and many employees who no longer felt comfortable engaging with her. We value diversity of thought and respect Melissa’s personal views and the views of all employees; however, when those create a hostile working environment, we must make difficult decisions to part ways.
— Equity Prime Mortgage LLC (@Equity_Prime) June 19, 2020
The second statement from the company comes after they posted a statement prior to Carlson’s segment that appeared to allude to their termination of Melissa Rolfe, but did not use her name. The company’s original statement said:
Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion are deeply entrenched in the principles that help guide the actions of our organization. Our 23 fundamental principles comprise The EPM Way and the first one is, “Do the right thing, always.”
Our unwavering commitment to always doing the right thing has led us to sever ties with an employee who has expressed views that do not align with our culture. We do not tolerate racism, discrimination or injustices of any kind. EPM was co-founded by people of color intent on building a better future the best way they knew how, by bringing diverse cultures into the conversation. We view business through an empathetic lens. We care about the communities we serve and the people we employ.
We have intentionally built a team that is reflective of the U.S. population. Not only do we make a concerted effort to ensure Black people are in positions of authority, but we have recently increased overall diversity within our management from 68% to 80%, and we are nowhere near finished.
We are dedicated to building wealth in communities of color that have historically suffered from systemic racism. We recognize the roadblocks these communities face and have and will continue to honor our commitment to removing them. Our efforts have significantly increased loans to Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Veterans to enrich their communities.
We owe our successes to our employees who listen generously, speak courageously, and choose positivity. Representation matters, and so do Black Lives. Known to many as Equity Prime Mortgage externally, we thrive by the principle of Empowering People More. We will continue to be a resource and voice to financially empower those we serve and strive to guarantee diversity every step of the way.
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