Detroit fire captain disciplined over Facebook posts

A Detroit fire captain is on unpaid leave following the revelation that he was the author of several racist Facebook posts.

In a probe conducted by the Michigan Council of Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI),  50 posts by this captain were turned over to his superiors.  Here’s some of what they found.

Among the more than 50 posts CAIR reviewed in the last week: a photo allegedly taken near the firehouse where the supervisor worked showing African-Americans gathered at a parking lot tent where cell phones were offered to residents on food stamps or Medicaid. A message underneath read: “In case you were wondering what the hell is wrong with America, I took this pic an hour ago at the corner of Greenfield and Grand River in Deeeeetroit.”

Other posts or memes the captain allegedly shared on Facebook appeared to depict Orthodox Jews with references to anti-Semitic stereotypes; suggested Hispanic immigrants would do “anything for papers”; and recommended that wet electronic devices be left in rice to “attract Asians to fix your electronics,” CAIR-MI reported Tuesday.

The department declined to name the captain but says he will remain on leave while they conduct an investigation.  They issued the following statement in regards to this incident.

“The Detroit Fire Department prides itself on the delivery of service regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. The current matters brought to light through the Council on American-Islamic Relations are profoundly disturbing. … The city of Detroit has a zero tolerance policy against any and all discrimination. Employees of the Detroit Fire Department are expected to adhere to that policy without fail.”


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An opinionated technologist, JP launched Death By Social Media when he saw just how easily and how often people's misunderstanding/abuse of social media created personal catastrophes. As a result, he wanted to provide a resource that would provide cautionary tales for those seeking to avoid similar fates.