A Los Angeles firefighter reportedly responded to receiving a letter of non-compliance with COVID-19 vaccination by wiping his buttocks with it and throwing it to the ground.
A group representing African Americans in the Los Angeles fire department said smoke eaters dropped his pants and wiped the letter against his back, leaving a visible mark before throwing it, according to LA Times.
“The department is aware of the seriousness of the allegations and took immediate action after hearing about this incident,” LAFD spokeswoman Cheryl Getuiza told the LA Times, declining to comment further on the November 18 incident.
Getuiza confirmed that the firefighter is currently on paid administrative leave and “will face the consequences of any inappropriate action”, but would not elaborate on his reason for leave, according to The Times.
The incident reportedly took place at Fire Station 69 in the Pacific Palisades and was attended by an LAFD captain and chief mate, the Stentorians said in a statement to the board of fire commissioners and city officials.
The statement contained a photograph of a man holding what appears to be a tainted document.
The group called the act a “dismissable offense”.
“LA City Stentorians are sick and disgusted by this horrible display of unprofessionalism,” the Stentorians said in a statement. “To date, we have not heard from anyone from the LAFD administration condemning this act of blatant disrespect and harassment.”
The group demanded “prompt and immediate action” from the mayor and the fire commission “to deter any city employee from feeling justified and not encouraged, but empowered to behave in such an embarrassing and threatening manner.”
On Friday, the department was made “aware of an incident in which a member responded inappropriately to a hand-delivered letter to comply with it,” Getuiza told the Times. On Monday, it was being examined by the department’s professional standard department.
“No matter how our members react, all city employees must comply with city ordinances – either apply for a waiver, be vaccinated or face dismissal,” Getuiza said.
All municipal employees must be vaccinated. Notices of vaccination compliance were sent to all workers who had not yet received their vaccines or exemptions, in which they were asked to provide proof of their vaccination by 18 December. Those who do not comply and do not sign the notices must be removed from active duty and their pay stopped, according to a note obtained by The Times.
“I am more than shocked by such an act by a LAFD firefighter,” Jimmie Woods-Gray, president of the fire commission, told The Times on Wednesday.
“Strong corrective action is needed,” she said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has not commented directly on the incident, however, spokesman Harrison Wollman said in response to Stentorian’s statement that “the mayor’s expectation is that the fire department’s management will handle this case definitively and make it clear that these horrific actions will not deter enforcement. of rules we have put in place to save lives, “the Times reported.
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