Sgt. Jennifer Brown has a new nickname in uniform: Hate Fairy.
She, along with about a dozen other first responders, has been assaulted three times in the past five months. In each instance, she’s put up with the culprits, who often claim to be ISIL supporters, taking to social media to troll their latest victims.
Sgt. Brown is a visible member of the Colorado Springs Fire Department. She’s been in the line of fire for the last several years, dealing with a much larger population that faces regular threats of terrorism and wildfire, and on top of that, has a regular federal-Department of Homeland Security contract as a military trainer. The role allows her to travel the country and give seminars to civilian emergency responders, and has taken her to Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and, as recently as September, to a bomb site at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The training has been invaluable. “I just want people to be as prepared as possible and not get stuck in a situation where they can’t respond quickly,” she said.
But each of her attacks, at most, starts with social media. “Someone in their right mind wouldn’t post this stuff on social media, but somebody that wants to do harm to somebody is OK because of that,” she said. “How would you respond to those messages, in the name of ISIL, if you are someone who does believe in that stuff? How would you react if you wanted to kill other Americans, and that’s what that person is doing on social media?”