Schock staffer resigns after comparing blacks to zoo animals in Facebook post

Aaron Schock, Downton Abbey, Taylor Swift
ABC News

A senior adviser to Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) has resigned, after he made a number of racially charged comments on his Facebook page, including one that compared two black people to “zoo animals” having a “mating ritual.”

ThinkProgress and BuzzFeed News posted several screenshots showing the Facebook posts by Benjamin Cole, Schock's senior adviser for policy and communications.

The congressman announced Cole's resignation in a statement first reported by the Journal Star in Peoria, Ill.

"I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff," Schock said. "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."

In a post reported by BuzzFeed last week, Cole bemoaned “black miscreants” who he said “routinely harassed” white residents of his apartment building in Washington, D.C.

He also wrote of seeking to put as many “Black criminals who live and loiter on my street behind bars.” Cole suggested it was only blacks who were a problem but said that if he found people of any other race causing “mischief” in his neighborhood, he would also seek their imprisonment.

ThinkProgress’s report focused on comments from Cole’s Facebook page from October 2013, during the government shutdown.

“So apparently the closing on the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street,” he wrote, adding the hashtag #gentrifynow.

According to ThinkProgress, the post included a video of a woman shouting with someone not visible. Another post published by the liberal site shows Cole writing, “This is where she finds another glass bottle, and breaks it on their stoop to use as a weapon.”

In December of 2013, he posted that “one of the hood rats on my street just got shot by another hood rat. I was there when the gun was fired.”

In 2010, according to posts unearthed by BuzzFeed, he wrote that he thought they should build a mosque on the White House grounds for President Obama.

“I just think it would be nice for the president to have his own house of worship, since he’s not been able to find one suitable in DC since 2004 when he moved here,” he wrote in a comment.

Cole made news earlier this week when he got into a conflict with a Washington Post reporter over whether the reporter could write about an expensive redecoration project in Schock’s office said to be modeled after a room from the TV show “Downton Abbey.”

— Scott Wong contributed.

— This story was updated at 3:06 p.m.