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City worker faces fallout after claiming Ferguson police shooting was a ‘set up’

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UPLANDS PARK, Mo. (KTVI) -- There has been sharp criticism of an Uplands Park city worker who said live on FOX News that the shooting of the two officers was a "set up" by police.

John Muhammad identified himself as city manager of the tiny North County Village of Uplands Park during a live interview Thursday night on FOX News channel.

Muhammad whose been involved in the protests, is now feeling the backlash. Uplands Park is taking swift action.

Muhammad was interviewed by FOX News reporter Steve Harrigan Thursday night during a broadcast at the vigil in front of the Ferguson police department. He identified himself as the city manager of the tiny north county community, a title that insinuates one who runs the day-to-day operations of the city.

"I think it was a complete set up," Muhammad said during a FOX News interview. "I think it was a set up between members of the police fraternity; what I like to call them. I think they operate just like the KKK. I think they did it to make themselves a victim when honestly the victim are black people. I think it's just a publicity stunt no more than that."

Uplands Park officials are furious at those comments.  The head of the Uplands Park board of trustees that runs the village says Muhammad is neither the city manager nor the city administrator.

"We don't agree with it here at Uplands Park. We have suspended John Muhammad," said chairman Michel Spurling. "I was angry because he's actually hired as a village clerk."

"I'm not caught up on titles or anything like that. My official title is city administrator. If he says it's clerk, then I guess it's clerk," said Muhammad. "I think people had a misconception of what I said. I made a statement under the first amendment of the constitution freedom of speech; that's what I said."

The head of the police officers association takes a dim view of Muhammad's statements.

"I believe in the first amendment. I believe in the right to freedom of speech. But, there's a responsibility with the words that come out of your mouth," said Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

Right now, Muhammad has been suspended from his job in Uplands Park. The village board will meet Monday and make a decision whether to fire him.

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