SAUK RAPIDS -- One of the two volunteer Sauk Rapids firefighters who lost their position with the city after a controversial Facebook post has reached out to WJON news in an effort to share his side of the story.

Tom Muehlbauer says he shared a meme on Saturday night, the day before a tanker truck drove through the crowd of protesters on Sunday afternoon.

I wasn't looking at it like I want people to get run over, or I want protesters to die, that's not right.  I want to help people, if anybody knows me that's what I do.

Muehlbauer says the next day he started getting messages on Facebook from people he didn't know telling him that his career with the city was going to be over.

He says he wanted to have an open meeting with the City Council so he would have a chance to clear his name, which he says initially was going to happen, but then the city decided to ask for his resignation instead.

He says he's reached out to the Unite Cloud organization asking to meet with them.

I've reached out to Unite Cloud twice with messages trying to contact them and trying to get this straightened out because they don't know me, it's a misunderstanding and they don't know me.

He says he does want to apologize for sharing the meme on Facebook and does want to have a meeting with Unite Cloud and clear the air with them so everyone can put the situation behind them and move beyond it.

He says it's 'unbelievable how this got twisted around", and 'it's more hurtful that people would look at me like I'm evil than all the good that I've done'.

Unite Cloud spokeswoman Natalie Ringsmuth has responded back to WJON with the following statement:

Tom and I are currently talking via email. Bottom line - Tom has hurt a community who is already in deep grief and pain. This is not about Tom's feelings, this is about justice for George Floyd and the past 400 years of slavery, racial violence, and dehumanization.

Muehlbauer says he has deleted all of his social media accounts.

Muehlbauer has been a member of the Sauk Rapids Fire Department since November of 2008.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the town of Blackduck, Minnesota has resigned from his position after sharing the same Facebook meme.

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