WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Congressman Aaron Schock. R-Ill., accepted the resignation of one of his top aides Thursday, after it was revealed the aide authored a series of racially charged Facebook posts and was repeatedly openly hostile on social media to Washington's black community.
In one post, Benjamin Cole, a former Baptist minister who served as a senior policy adviser to Rep. Schock since March 2014, even compared his black neighbors to zoo animals.
"So apparently the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street. #gentrifytoday," Cole wrote during the 2013 government shutdown in a Facebook post first unearthed by Think Progress.
Two months later, upon allegedly witnessing a shooting, Cole described the incident as "one of the hood rats on my street" getting shot by "another hood rat."
Cole's public anti-black statements are not exclusively restricted to years ago. After Think Progress' initial revelation, BuzzFeed exposed a post dated Jan. 29, 2015 in which Cole promised he was trying his "absolute best to put as many black criminals who live and loiter on my street behind bars."
"I am all too worried about the deportables, as you know. I am doing, however, my absolute best to put as many black criminals who live and loiter on my street behind bars ... The fact remains that white people who live in my building are routinely harassed by black miscreants who blockade the sidewalks and entryways in front of and behind my building."
All of the Facebook posts in question have since been deleted.
"I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff," Schock said in a statement provided to the Peoria Journal Star.
"I would expect better from any member of my team. Upon learning about them I met with Mr. Cole and he offered his resignation which I have accepted."