Kansas City Firefighter Not Guilty in Spitting Incident

A Kansas City, Missouri firefighter who was accused of spitting on an African American child in a Hooters restaurant in a highly publicized case, has been found not guilty on all charges.

Terrence Skeen, 42, was originally charged with assault, battery and disorderly conduct following the February 26, 2018 incident in Overland Park, Kansas.

The family of the child claimed Skeen spit on the three-year-old and used the n-word because he was running around the restaurant. Skeen denied the accusations and claimed as an openly gay man he had “no tolerance for discrimination.” Several Kansas City firefighters, both white and black, testified on behalf of Skeen stating they had never observed any evidence of racial animus.

Yesterday, Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Cornwell found Skeen not guilty pointing to inconsistencies between the prosecution’s three witnesses. More on the story.

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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