NEW YORK – The FDNY has suspended nine firefighters without pay over a slew of racist messages and memes they shared on their phones, including those that mocked the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis’ last year.
A spokesperson called the suspensions the most severe sanctions ever imposed in the history of firefighters. The suspensions ranged from a few days to six months and resulted from complaints from several black firefighters.
Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the service has embraced diversity initiatives and is working to become more inclusive.
According to the FDNY, 8.2% of firefighters are black, 13.4% of firefighters are Hispanic, 2% of firefighters are Asian and 128 women are firefighters.
About 75% of the FDNY are white / male, down from 93% more than a decade ago. The diversity hiring took place between 2014 and today, according to the FDNY. There was a hiring freeze from 2009 to 2014.
This change has occurred since 2014 – to date there have been no FF hires from 2009 to 2014.
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