EMT Claims Detroit Fire Failed To Address Harassment

A former Detroit EMT who claims that a colleague’s intimidation forced her to resign has filed suit against the city. Kimberly Asaro filed suit against the City of Detroit claiming the fire department’s administration failed to address harassment and stalking behavior from an African American employee, Willie Bragg.

Asaro previously reported Bragg for posting a racially offensive comment on Facebook. According to ClickOnDetroit, the post read “White men, women and children should be raped and killed. White people should be used as alligator bait. Whites should be enslaved and beaten, like they had done to African-Americans.” Bragg reportedly wrote that he agreed “100 percent” with the post.

Bragg was investigated by the Detroit Fire Department, but was not disciplined. He was advised to avoid Asaro, but according to the complaint he would show up at her workplace. Asaro claims she no longer felt safe at work and began taking sick leave. The department sought medical documentation of her condition and when it was not provided promptly, she was fired.

The suit was filed in Wayne County Circuit Court. It names the city, Fire Commissioner Eric Jones, Captain Robert Brown, and Lieutenant Jason Jennings.

Here is a copy of the complaint:Asaro v Detroit

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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