CHICAGO — The Chicago Fire Department is investigating after someone complained they saw a person get out of a firetruck to remove a Black Lives Matter banner on the city’s South Side.
The banner was located on a fence on 47th Street and Cornell Avenue. The witness who posted the complaint says the firetruck blocked the street on Saturday.
The woman says she got out of her vehicle and threw up her hands to ask why. She said the firefighters responded by blowing the horn loudly.
A press conference was held by retired firefighters in north Kenwood outside of Engine 45 in response to the incident.
They allege members of he firehouse ripped down that sign and they want them to be penalized.
Ezra McCann and other retired firefighters stood outside Engine 45 on Tuesday fired up over what happened. McCann over his years as a firefighter, he didn’t just fight fires, but also racism.
“We had to worry about how we were going to be promoted,” he said. “How we were going to be treated by our comrades.”
He said those comrades were almost always white.
“The City of Chicago is mandated to employ black firefighters, which has never been done,” he said.
WGN asked the department about that mandate, known as Appendix G and was told it couldn’t be upheld due to a court ruling. However, those at the press conference claim the African American community needs to be better represented within the fire department.
CFD issued the following statement:
“CFD has started an investigation into this claim and we will follow up vigorously to determine the exact circumstances that prompted this complaint. The conduct described in the allegation will not be tolerated by the Chicago Fire Department.”
WGN was told that whomever was on that fire truck on Saturday was presented with the allegations against them Tuesday by internal affairs. They now have 72 hours from today to respond. A decision is expected on all of that in the next week or two. The penalities could potentially include some people losing their jobs.