Stephon Clark

A newspaper columnist is out of a part-time job after she was let go for writing a column suggesting black men should stay home at night to avoid getting shot and killed by police.

Marcia Courson and The River Valley Times of Rancho Murieta, Calif., mutually agreed to part ways on Monday after the public backlash to her column.

The column referenced the shooting of petty criminal Stephon Clark who was killed by Sacramento police after they mistook his white cell phone for a gun.

Courson struggled to find an answer to the epidemic of police shootings of unarmed black men.

She suggested black men might be better off staying home after dark to avoid getting killed.

“Hard to know what a young man wandering the streets at night might be up to and if he has a gun,” Courson wrote. “Police have to be careful not to overreact, and you black men might be better off at home after a certain hour.”

Some cities implemented curfew laws after civil unrest in the past. But curfews usually aren’t implemented to save black men from the police.

Newspaper publisher Dave Herburger distanced himself from the controversy, saying he was out of town in the days before the column was published last week.

“Had I read the proofs prior to publication, I would have been able to avoid all this,” Herburger said.

“I would like to believe I would have at least edited out that one sentence, if not the whole thing,” Herburger said Monday.

Courson was a paid columnist for the last seven years, according to the

Herburger said he spoke to Courson immediately after the controversy erupted in the 5,000-person gated community 15 miles south of Folsom.

The newspaper has a circulation of about 5,600.