PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Fire Department and the firefighters union are condemning a firefighter’s Facebook post about the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, race protests.
Philadelphia firefighter John Deluisi posted on Facebook a photo of him wearing a Confederate hat, while holding a tiki torch, with the caption, “Headed to VA.”
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel called it a “reprehensible social media post.”
“Racist images, symbols, words and actions are contrary to our mission and values and have absolutely no place in our Department,” Thiel said in a statement. “We will take swift and decisive personnel action after a full investigation. The Department will follow-up with intensive and focused workplace conduct training for our more than 2,600 members.”
Ed Marks, president of Philadelphia Firefighters & Paramedics Local 22, echoed Thiel’s statement, saying that an internal investigation will be launched.
“The Philadelphia Firefighters & Paramedics Union Local 22 condemns the highly insensitive message written by one of our members regarding this weekend’s racially-charged rioting in Virginia,” Marks said. “That terrible situation, in which lives were lost, is no joking matter.”
Heather Heyer, 32, died when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday. Police arrested 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. in her death.
Two troopers also died in a police helicopter crash that was monitoring the protests.