Former press secretary for Arizona’s Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, Joselyn Berry, has resigned after facing backlash for a tweet that called for violence against “transphobes” following the recent shooting at a Christian school in Nashville.
Berry’s tweet featured a GIF from the 1980 crime thriller “Gloria,” in which actress Gena Rowlands wielded two pistols, with the caption “Us when we see transphobes.”
Katie Hobbs’ press secretary Josselyn Berry has resigned after posting THIS. Now shouldn’t she be prosecuted for helping to create a climate of transgender hate, mass murder and domestic terrorism? pic.twitter.com/SG3XMEwkki
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) March 29, 2023
The tweet, which landed on fresh wounds, sparked controversy and led to calls for Berry’s dismissal as she had suggested that “transphobes” should be gunned down. The now-former secretary would understand the implication of her tweet shortly after, as many individuals and organizations criticized her move and called for her resignation.
Not long after, she issued a public apology, stating that her tweet had been “misconstrued.” However, the damage had already been done, and she ultimately made the decision to step down from her position.
Among the organizations that condemned Berry’s tweet is the Arizona Freedom Caucus, which called for her immediate dismissal.
“Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist, Katie Hobbs’s Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with. Calling for violence like this is un-American & never acceptable. Josselyn Berry should be fired immediately,” the organization said in a statement.
Hobbs did not waste time in disassociating from her press secretary as she released a statement condemning the comments and labeling them “inexcusable.”
“The Governor does not condone violence in any form. This administration holds mutual respect at the forefront of how we engage with one another,” the statement read.
“The post by the Press Secretary is not reflective of the values of the administration. The Governor has received and accepted the resignation of the Press Secretary,” the statement further stated.
The United States as a whole was plunged into mourning silence on Monday after six people, including three 9-year-old children, were killed in a shooting at the Presbyterian-run Covenant School in Nashville. The shooter was 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who identified as transgender and was later killed by the police.
The police would later discover that Hale was undergoing care for an undisclosed “emotional disorder” and was also autistic, according to a source close to the family. However, she was determined to be “high-functioning.”
Authorities found a detailed map of the school and a manifesto at the shooter’s parents’ home, suggesting that the shooting was a targeted attack. The police might have determined Hale’s motive for the attack but have declined to share what they know with the public at this time. It is unclear if her former studentship at the school motivated the crime in any way.