FDNY Commissioner Vows To Go After Firefighters Who Booed AG Letitia James: Report

Advertisement


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


The head of the New York City fire department has vowed to hunt down staffers and firefighters who mercilessly booed state Attorney General Letitia James at a recent event.

The New York Post reported that FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh made the threat after they cheered former President Donald Trump as well as booed James during a promotion ceremony last week.

Following the incident, the FDNY Chief of Department John Hodges informed other agency heads via email that a reckoning by the department’s Bureau of Investigation and Trials was imminent.

In the letter that The Post was able to obtain from Hodges on Saturday, he wrote, “BITS is investigating this so they will figure out who the members are.”

“I recommend they come forward. I have been told by the commissioner that it will be better for them if they come forward and we don’t have to hunt them down,” he continued.

“The [deputy chiefs] shall direct the captain of the company to make a list of those who come forward and send it directly to [FDNY operations]. I realize members might not come forward but they should know that there is a clear video of the entire incident and they will be contacted by BITS if they don’t,” he continued, according to The Post.

Advertisement

The outlet also obtained a list of talking points for the deputy chiefs conducting the investigation.

“We want the members to come forward. They will come to headquarters to be educated why their behavior is unacceptable,” it said.

One FDNY retiree ripped the department’s heavy-handed response to The Post.

“It was a political stunt for the city to have the AG there. When it backfired, they sent their fascist pit bulls after guys for exercising their First Amendment rights,” he said. “Most were off-duty and not in FDNY uniform.”

Constitutional attorney and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz also blasted the department’s response.

“Firefighters have an absolute constitutional right to boo the attorney general, and the government has no power to punish them for it,” he told The Post. “So efforts to get the names of the booers is an effort by the government to chill free speech and is unconstitutional.”

The Uniformed Fire Officers Association also messaged its members on Saturday, warning them of the directive and saying that the department is in “possession of video footage of the event.”

“As part of this discussion, questions may be asked to specific UFOA members over their actions or their recollections,” the message said.

The union recommended that members adhere to FDNY regulations but urged them to reach out to the UFOA for legal representation if they believe they are under investigation.

The Post added:

On Thursday, the crowd – — made up of the families of captains, battalion chiefs, and civilians up for promotion, as well as the firefighters who work beside them — erupted in loud jeers as James walked onto the podium at the Christian Cultural Center’s Brooklyn Campus in Starrett City,  raucous video shows.

“Oh, come on. We’re in a house of God. First, simmer down,” said James, attempting to pacify the crowd. She added, “Thank you for getting it out of your system.”

The booing then turned to chanting the former president’s name.

Test your skills with this Quiz!

“Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!” the crowd bellowed.

An FDNY spokesman denied that members were being ‘hunted down.’

“Nobody is hunting anyone down. We’re looking into those who broke department regulations,” said spokesman Jim Long. “It has nothing to do with politics. It’s about professionalism at an official event held in a house of worship.”

The Post added: “James was invited to speak at the event to honor her friend, The Rev. Pamela Holmes, who was being sworn in as the department’s second female chaplain and the first black woman to hold that title.”

Advertisement


source

Share :
comments

post a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *