Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Judge says FDNY firefighters booing Letitia James reveals systemic problem

This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Brooklyn federal judge

via NBC

A Brooklyn federal judge ordered the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) commissioner and NYC’s corporation counsel to appear before him regarding ongoing discrimination issues at the FDNY.

FDNY members

New York Post

This comes after some FDNY members booed and chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump” when the state attorney general spoke at an event.

Vile nature

New York Post

“I don’t know if you had an opportunity to just see the vile nature of these members even when we were at Christian Cultural Center where they started booing and saying ‘Trump, Trump Trump,’ while Letitia James was at the podium,” Vulcan Society President Regina Wilson said.


New York Post

“This behavior is who this department is. Not all of them, but a large portion of them. So when Black people go to work and have to deal with this and you don’t get any help or support really from the department, it’s horrific.”

Racist culture

New York Post

The judge cited this incident as evidence of persisting racist culture at FDNY.


New York Post

He directed officials to address long backlogs of EEO complaints and discrimination faced by Black firefighters.



The FDNY has found itself embroiled in controversy following the incident where some of its members reportedly heckled and booed New York State Attorney General Letitia James during a promotion ceremony. The incident, which occurred during the swearing-in of Reverend Pamela Holmes as the department’s first Black woman fire chaplain, has sparked a contentious debate and raised questions about professionalism, free speech, and the role of political expression in official events.

Met with boos


During the ceremony, Attorney General Letitia James was met with boos and chants of “Trump” from some FDNY members, leading to a disruptive atmosphere that overshadowed the occasion. The incident drew attention as it unfolded in a house of worship, prompting concerns about the appropriateness of such conduct in a formal and non-political setting.

Holding hearing


“Get the EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] office straightened out. Take some of your brilliant lawyers from the Corporation Counsel and put them in there and start holding hearings. That’s not a request, that’s a direction,” Judge Nicholas Garaufis said.

Front and center


“I’ve lived in New York City all my life. I know what the problem is. And believe me, front and center is what happened the other day. This doesn’t have to do with politics, this has to do with race.”

98M settlement


The Vulcan Society has sued over discrimination, resulting in a $98M settlement.



Officials argued staffing shortages have slowed EEO investigations, but the judge said the city has ample legal resources to dedicate to resolving this issue.

900 lawyers


“You have 900 lawyers sitting doing other things in the Corporation Counsel’s office and lawyers all over the city government. Put them on detail, they already work for you, and do it. One hundred eighty days is not acceptable,” Garaufis said. “And I want the commissioner here at the next meeting.”



“I don’t know what she’s doing, but she’s not working on this. And she’s a former judge. I doubt she’d be too happy about having her orders ignored and her instructions ignored,” Garaufis added.

Commissioner Kavanagh


“Commissioner Kavanagh and the FDNY is committed to providing a professional work environment free of discrimination and harassment for all Department employees, which is why we continue to work with our city partners so we can effectively re-staff the EEO office,” FDNY spokesman James Long said.



“The FDNY takes every EEO complaint seriously, diligently investigates each complaint, and is committed to addressing the complaint backlog,” Law Department spokesman Nicholas Paolucci stated.



“The court has previously expressed appreciation for the Corporation Counsel’s active engagement in finding solutions in the past, and continued to acknowledge that a lot of the city’s efforts have been done well. We’ll be updating the court on how we plan to further assist the FDNY EEO Office.”

FDNY’s response


The FDNY’s response to the incident has been met with internal and external scrutiny. The department has initiated an investigation to identify the individuals involved in the heckling, prompting pushback from the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) and other union representatives who argue that the issue should be approached as a learning experience rather than a disciplinary action.

Political expression


The incident has raised wider questions about the intersection of political expression and professionalism among first responders. The controversy has drawn attention to the boundaries of political speech in official settings and the responsibilities of individuals in upholding decorum and respect during formal events.



Reactions to the incident have been varied, with some expressing disappointment at the behavior displayed by FDNY members and calling for accountability, while others have defended the right to free expression and criticized the subsequent investigation as a “witch-hunt”.

Political figures


The incident has also prompted discussions about the role of political figures and the reception they may encounter in public and official settings.



The aftermath of the incident has fueled ongoing discussions about the appropriate conduct of first responders, the handling of political expression in formal ceremonies, and the impact of such incidents on the reputation and values of the FDNY.

Investigation continues


As the investigation continues, the department faces the challenge of addressing the incident while upholding its commitment to professionalism and public service.

You May Also Like