We know about how Los Angeles’s firefighters feel about women in the firehouse. Apparently the predominantly white firefighters aren’t too happy with people of color around either.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Fire Department has experienced a series of “divisive” workplace incidents in recent months.
In a two-page letter posted Friday, Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas said his agency has experienced “on-duty heated discussions regarding the perception of a lack of patriotism by NFL players” who have kneeled during the national anthem.
In a separate incident, firefighters from different ethnic backgrounds had a “near physical altercation” after someone showed up late to work, Terrazas wrote.
In yet another, the department received complaints about “a perceived lack of sensitivity” toward non-white firefighters during an investigation.
“These types of issues and incidents are divisive and can erode our ability to accomplish our collective mission to protect the lives and property of the people of Los Angeles,” the chief said in his letter.
As of last week, the Fire Department’s workforce was 47% white, 11% black, 32% Hispanic and 9% Asian, according to numbers provided to The Times.
Peter Sanders, a spokesman for the department, declined to discuss details on the near physical altercation and the department investigation mentioned by Terrazas in his letter with the Times. Both situations are being investigated by the department’s Professional Standards Division, Sanders said.
It’s past the time for the city to address the racism in the LAFD. Discipline must be restored immediately. The white supremacists in the LAFD need to understand they are not above the law.