NY Attorney General Letitia James Was Heckled By Firefighters, Now A Judge Blames ‘Race’ Not Politics For Their Actions

by Gee NY

A federal judge has reacted to the recent incident where New York Attorney General Letitia James was heckled by firefighters during a promotion ceremony.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis, presiding over the Brooklyn Federal Court, stated that the behavior displayed by the firefighters towards James was rooted in racial biases rather than political disagreements.

The incident occurred on March 7 during a ceremony honoring the Fire Department of New York’s first Black female chaplain, Rev. Pamela Holmes.

As James took the stage to deliver remarks, several firefighters disrupted the event by chanting “Trump! Trump! Trump!” in a hostile manner.

Regina Wilson, president of the Vulcan Society of Black Firefighters, condemned the firefighters’ behavior, characterizing it as reflective of a pervasive culture of racism within the department.

She highlighted concerns about the department’s handling of equal opportunity complaints, urging swift action to address systemic issues.

In response to the incident and the backlog of complaints, Judge Garaufis has summoned the FDNY commissioner and the city’s top attorney to provide explanations.

Garaufis asserted that the firefighters’ conduct was not politically motivated but rather driven by racial prejudices, citing his lifelong experience in New York City.

However, Garaufis’ remarks have sparked controversy, with some individuals criticizing his perspective. Republican secretary of state candidate Valentina Gomez condemned Garaufis’ statement, portraying the firefighters as heroes suppressed by government tyranny.

Legal analyst Phil Holloway also questioned Garaufis’ singular focus on race, suggesting a narrow interpretation of events.

This is not the first time Garaufis has addressed racial discrimination within the FDNY. In 2011, he found evidence of discrimination in firefighter exams, leading to reforms aimed at promoting diversity within the department.

The city’s history of addressing racial discrimination within the FDNY includes a $98 million settlement with the Vulcan Society in 2014, intended to rectify past injustices and provide compensation to minority firefighters.

In response to Garaufis’ directives, FDNY officials have reiterated their commitment to investigating EEO complaints and addressing the backlog.

They have pledged to identify the individuals responsible for heckling James and revealed there are ongoing efforts to promote professionalism and decorum within the department.

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