FDNY Suspends Nine Over Racist Memes

Nine FDNY firefighters have been suspended without pay following an investigation into racist memes. It is not clear when the suspensions actually took place but confirmation of the discipline became public in a New York Times article published last week.

The memes were reportedly shared via text messages last year following death of George Floyd and the resulting protests that followed. They became known after the message thread was shared with African American firefighters, who reported it to the Vulcan Society. The thread was then deleted.

FDNY reportedly confirmed that three officers were reprimanded for comments related to the use of hose streams to control protesters. It is not clear from news reports whether they were part of the same investigation. None of those involved have been identified.

BTW, our next program addressing free speech, social media, and firefighter discipline is October 13, 2021.

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.
x

Check Also

Fired Arizona Firefighter Claims Sexual Harassment and Disability Discrimination

A probationary firefighter who claims he was sexually harassed and denied an accommodation for his psychological conditions has filed suit alleging sexual harassment and disability discrimination. Johnathan Schaupp filed suit today in US District Court against the City of Casa Grande Fire Department

California Firefighter Claims Age and Disability Discrimination Forced Him to Retire

A California firefighter who retired in 2019 has filed suit claiming he was forced to resign due to discrimination and a hostile work environment based upon his age and disability. William Hatcher was a fire inspector/fire prevention specialist with the El Segundo Fire Department.