CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Fire Department is investigating the
latest of five racial slurs heard over department radios since
February. One city official said those responsible should be fired.
The latest slurs were transmitted Tuesday night and Wednesday
morning, according to a fire department news release. Tuesday's was
a derogatory comment about some city council members, the
Alderman Billy Ocasio, chairman of the city's Committee on Human
Relations, said the fire department needs to take action against
"We need to fire these people," Ocasio said. "If you talk
about zero tolerance, you have to have zero tolerance. There is a
culture in the fire department that has to be taken care of."
A fire department spokesman refused to comment beyond the
A firefighter recently received a 90-day suspension after
allegedly making the first reported slur over an open microphone
Feb. 2. The firefighter also was transferred out of a firehouse on
Chicago's West Side.
A second slur was reported Feb. 26, but fire department
officials said they were unable to trace it because of radio
interference. A third on Monday was a prank.
APTV 03-03-04 2202EST
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03-05-2004, 04:53 AM #1
Racial Slurs heard on Radios-ChicagoProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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03-05-2004, 08:51 AM #2
So, What is the question here?
Things happen every day. Words are said all the time. In this case an open micophone pick up what the driver said when a car being driven by someone from out of state, was poking along and was in the way of the apparatus.
To bad it had to happen. He was transferred to another station. He may aslo be punished futher by the department like having days taken away from him.
The City Council has now stuck their big feet as well as their mouth into this. This is a matter for the Fire Chief/Commissioner to handle. Too bad Commissioner Joyce can't tell council and Mayor Daley to stay out of, for fear of loosing his job. I think the Commish did the right thing.
Not saying it was right. Think about what would have happen if this was reversed! Black firefighter saying something racial about a white driver!
03-05-2004, 09:05 AM #3
Capt, most of these incidents are a little different. Rather than an open mike accidently picking up something, these statements appear to be intentionally broadcast on the FD frequency. There are a whole series of stories in the Illinois local news section .
It is an interesting series of stories. For the most part, nobody can say for sure if the people responsible are even FD employees.
03-05-2004, 09:21 AM #4
Thats the point our local media is missing. There are many many unlicensened portable radios out there. We all know how simple it is to purchase one and have any frequency programmed in. But the idiot Aldermen are up in arms without having all the facts. Typical.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
03-05-2004, 09:45 AM #5
Good point Mike. I find it very hard to believe that someone is STILL doing this; especially after the incident in which the guy didn't realize that the mike was still keyed up and had his lil "oops". That incident was so well publicized, he was disciplined and transferred to a different house; so why would someone blatantly commit the same act?? I am interested in seeing how this plays out.
I also see that the "Unofficial Website of the Chicago Fire Department" is taking some heat today in the papers because of certain posts on it containing the "n" word.To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.
GO WHITE SOX!!!!!
03-05-2004, 12:00 PM #6
You're thinking just like me Pfire. They had an unfortunate open mike incident and now stuff is being broadcast on a frequent basis. It sounds like somebody is getting their jollies at the expense of the Chicago FD.
The big kicker for me is that, according to the stories, their radios send a unit id when they transmit. Nobody on the FD would be stupid enough to use a radio that can be traced but it would be a great way for someone using a cloned radio you can get on e-bay to make a house (or entire department) look bad.
03-05-2004, 05:51 PM #7
I believe another article stated that there was a webiste that told the firefighters how to key up the mic without activating the identifier...........
For what it's worth, I can't believe someone from inside the Chicago FD would be doing this.........
03-05-2004, 08:43 PM #8
News channel 5 out of Chicago reported similar incident on the sheriff band. Kinda sounds like some Donkey with a radio trying to start problems. As stated earlier, ebay sells all radios and the seller will program them.
03-05-2004, 08:49 PM #9Originally posted by Fire40man
Kinda sounds like some Donkey with a radio trying to start problems.
03-05-2004, 09:09 PM #10
Yes it is a wothless pathetic talking donkey.!!!!
03-11-2004, 03:01 AM #11
CHICAGO (AP) - A string of racial slurs broadcast over Chicago's
fire department radios has City Hall in an uproar, and the mayor is
calling on firefighters to break their silence and identify the
City Council members, meanwhile, are demanding reforms to end
what they say is a culture of racism in the department.
Amid the controversy, a black fire battalion chief received a
death threat, and an outspoken black alderman said Wednesday that
he, too, had been warned against criticizing the department.
At least six racial slurs, including one Wednesday, have been
heard over the department's radios since February. The firefighter
accused of making the first slur Feb. 2 was given a 90-day
suspension and was transferred. The department's internal affairs
division is investigating the other slurs.
On Tuesday, Mayor Richard M. Daley called those responsible
"cowards," and urged firefighters to identify the offenders
"because this is not good for their profession."
Jim McNally, president of the Chicago Firefighters Union Local
2, said he doubts the plea will help because the offenders probably
were alone when they made the comments.
Asked whether the offenders should be fired, McNally said, "If
anybody is doing any of these things intentionally, maliciously and
they are members of the department, they may be too stupid to be on
At a City Council meeting Wednesday, Alderman Freddrenna Lyle
proposed the city create a citizens' oversight board for the fire
department, similar to the city's police citizens review board. The
mayor called it a good idea.
"I think there's a family atmosphere that makes it almost
incestual," Lyle said. "We want to change the whole attitude in
Alderman Ed Smith received an anonymous postcard Monday that
read: "When the riot you are trying to start begins you better
make sure all the fire fighters around your house are black - so
you get the flames out."
And Alderman Emma Mitts said she received racist voice mails
after demanding the transfer of a firefighter accused of a racist
In addition, Battalion Chief Nicholas Russell, president of the
African American Fire Fighters League of Chicago, recently received
a threat that talked about a battalion chief being shot and left in
a shallow grave, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, citing
The department has a history of racial issues and court
The federal government sued over alleged discriminatory hiring
and promotion in 1973, a time when blacks and Hispanics made up
fewer than 5 percent of the uniformed employees. Court orders
settling the case required Chicago to hire and promote more
Today, 948 of the 4,896 city firefighters and paramedics are
black and 510 are Hispanic. Blacks account for 16 of 107 battalion
chiefs, 26 of 182 captains, and 94 of 594 lieutenants.
More recently, seven firefighters were dismissed and 21
suspended after a video surfaced in 1997 showing them drinking and
using racial slurs at a firehouse party. An arbitrator later
reversed the punishment, saying the city brought the charges too
APTV 03-11-04 0007ESTProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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*Gathering Crust Since 1968*
On the web at www.section2wildfire.com
03-11-2004, 08:36 AM #12
Firefighter awards take back seat to ongoing racism controversy
Thursday, March 11, 2004
By Mark J. Konkol
Chicago aldermen Wednesday honored four Southwest Side firefighters who saved two children from a public housing complex blaze.
On the day after Christmas, fire lieutenants Dan Mullaney and Kevin Hicks rushed into an inferno at the Ida B. Wells housing complex. A "flashover" of flames melted Mullaney's helmet.
They rescued two badly injured children, carrying them outside where firefighters Peter O'Sullivan and Keith McDermott resuscitated them with CPR.
Their honor, though, was tainted by the cloud of racial tension surrounding the Chicago Fire Department.
Several developments unfolded Wednesday.
In response to racial slurs recently broadcast on fire radios, two South Side aldermen called for creating a civilian commission to oversee a fire department. An outspoken black alderman from the West Side received a threatening post card in the mail. And a city council bloc found itself at odds with Mayor Richard Daley, arguing over a pending federal lawsuit set to decide if the 1995 firefighter exam was unfair to minorities.
For the Southwest Side firefighters recognized Wednesday, their frustration was evident after reporters sought their reaction to the string of racial slurs and the call by several aldermen to better integrate the mostly white department
"We're here for doing a good job. And all (reporters) want me to do is say something stupid like the people that have said enough stupid things," Mullaney said. "I don't want to get into that. Kevin, me, the guys on our trucks, we work our (butts) off. That's it."
Ald. Edward Smith (28th), who is among those calling for the firefighters making racial slurs to be fired, said good firefighters like Mullaney deserve commendations for their bravery.
But the "few bad apples" need to be weeded out to "separate the fine people from the acts of nonsense."
The department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating the racial slur incidents, and the city's Office of Emergency Communications is conducting daily checks of the identification numbers of all fire radios to better trace their use.
Smith, who is black, received an anonymous postcard that accused him of making comments at a recent city council committee meeting that could "incite a riot."
Smith had said that if the racial slurs continue, a "racial uprising" could result.
The alderman considers the message a hate crime and turned the postcard over to police. It went on to say, "When the riot you are trying to start begins you better make sure all the firefighters around your house are black."
Alderman Emma Mitts said she has received a series of racist voice mails. Mitts had demanded the transfer of a firefighter identified as making the first racist comment on a fire department radio.
"This is a city that belongs to all people," Smith said. "This should not be happening."
Police and fire committee chairman Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) said the city council won't be intimidated by threats.
"We're just going to try to fire these guys, but the problem is, we don't know who they are," he said. "They throw a rock and they hide."
Two aldermen introduced an ordinance that would create a nine-member civilian review board that would adopt department rules and regulations. It also would recommend discipline for fire department employees.
Ordinance co-sponsor Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said it's clear the fire department needs outside oversight ó a group to handle discipline and come up with "structural long-term changes" that will change attitudes.
She said the outside board is needed because the fire department has become "incestuous," plagued by nepotism and favoritism.
Daley supports the move, saying a similar board that oversees the police department has done a good job.
The mayor did, however, chastise a group of aldermen who met with a group of lawyers suing the city in federal court over the 1995 firefighter exam, which they claim was unfair to minorities.
Daley said the aldermen should have asked city lawyers for an update on the case instead of asking the lawyers who want the city to settle the case for $19 million.
"We did not like the results. When I flunked the bar exam, I didn't like the results, but I'll tell you this test was put together (with input from minority aldermen)," he said.
Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd), who was among the aldermen in on the meeting, introduced a resolution Wednesday calling for a public hearing on the matter.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
03-11-2004, 09:21 AM #13For what it's worth, I can't believe someone from inside the Chicago FD would be doing this.........
It is no secret to anyone even vaguely familiar with the CFD that there are a tremendous number of racist firefighters. They don't hide it when there are only white males in the room.
It may not be popular to talk about, but MIKEY, ADSNWNFLD, and the other forum members from this area know I am right."We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."
03-11-2004, 10:24 AM #14
a group of aldermen who met with a group of lawyers suing the city in federal court over the 1995 firefighter exam, which they claim was unfair to minorities.
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
I have a minimal amount of College, I could probably obtain an A.A. with a few more courses, but choose not to. A Firefighter exam is designed to assess "Basic Aptitude Skills" to ensure you can follow directions, think on your feet, make quick decisions and read in a proficient enough manner to understand MSDS sheets, Fire and EMS Reports and Basic Medical Reports. The Fire Department does not require a College Degree. Actually, most Firefighters on the job are High School Graduates that grew up in Blue Collar homes with Hard-working parents that instilled some type of values in their Children to make a life doing something that might not have the greatest pay, but will be fulfilling to yourself and make you a better person.
If you need the Standards lowered on a Basic Aptitude test so you can become a Firefighter, I am not so sure I want you on my BackStep. I want to know I got the guy who studied hard, prepared and socred high on that test. Not the guy who claimed he was being tested "unfairly"
because he was Black and was able to get by with a low score. That is the problem with society today.
Yes, Racism is still out there and it is not going to go away. They could make it illegal tomorrow and it would not go away. However most of the Racism I see today is self-inflicted. What in the Hell do you think a group of White Firefighters are going to think about a Black Officer who was promoted because there was a needed quota? If I were a Black Person in a situation like that, I would demand equality! I want to know I earned my career or position because I did the same thing everyone else did and I did BETTER!
Personally, I would feel pretty guilty knowing I achieved something because of a handout or special treatment because of my race. I think it cheapens the entire process and causes unecessary hostility. It also slaps in the face, the Minority Firefighters and Fire Officers who had to compete the same as everyone else before these Ridiculous entitlement programs came out.
Anyhow, while I think the Actions in Chicago involving the Radios and Postcards are deplorable, I can understand the frustrations of alot of Firefighters out there today. If in fact there are Fireman found to be making the slurs over the radio, then yes, fire them. I think the first case was not intentional and was use of bad judgement. The transfer seems appropriate and hopefully the lesson was learned.
I am personally sick of people saying that Fire Departments have "Racial Issues" because they refuse to accept the lowest common denominator when it comes to entrance exams and demand that candidates score high and posess basic aptitude skills required to do this job.
03-11-2004, 02:58 PM #15
Well Duff, Since you mentioned me, I will give my response. Racism occurs throughout this country in all kinds of forms and within ALL racial groups. I am not going to defend the entire Chicago Fire Department. I will however say that it IS a two way street. There are instances when a white guy goes to work in a predominately black firehouse and IS subjected to abuse. Is he going to complain? Nope. "That kind of thing just dosent happen". The MEDIA has taken this and "fanned the flames" so to speak. Chicago is still one of THE most segregated Cities in the America. It always has been and I dont see any changes happening anytime soon. I work in a community that is at least 85% black. Like anywhere else the vast majority of residents are hard working folks trying to have a nice life. But there is that small element that causes problems. I dont like these people. Does that make me a racist? I dont think so. Do I believe in affirmative action? Not really. I have seen first hand how it weakens an organization in the name of being diverse. I am all for EVERYONE getting an equal shot at the job. I am AGAINST "special" treatment. Affirmative action causes the very type of anger and resentment that it was supposed to "correct". I am close friends with several white Chicago firefighters and I know and respect several black ones too. To me, if you can do the job, you are alright by me. My worry is that these BIG MOUTHED ALDERMEN who ARE talking "uprising" (their words, not mine)are going to make this an interesting summer in Chicagoland.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
03-11-2004, 03:04 PM #16
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
Yeah, what he said.....
In all honesty, I did not realize Chicago wasn't so "diverse."
03-11-2004, 03:05 PM #17
MIKEY, I agree with you. I was simply pointing out that it is quite believable that it could be a member or members of the department doing it. I know firsthand of the attitudes some white firefighers have about blacks. I know it works both ways as well.
I am not trying to indict the entire department, and I agree about the aldermen. I meant no disrespect to you or anyone else for that matter."We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."
03-11-2004, 03:21 PM #18
I know Duff. It very well may be CFD members who are involved. The first occurance WAS a CFD member. He was caught dead to rights. The other incidents are proving a bit harder to pin down. From what I understand, at least 2 of the incidents were in all likely CFD members. If thats true, then they get what they have coming to them. But, we all know people who have unlicensed portable radios with Main and Englewood programmed in. If you ask the average "Joe" either black or white, they will attribute it to "knuckleheads" and not some type of organized plot. The thing that has bothered me is when elected officials publicly state their belief that somehow, white firefighters wont "give it there all" when responding to a fire that involves a black person. This I DO KNOW is just plain wrong.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
03-11-2004, 03:24 PM #19
Once again MIKEY, I agree. You hit the nail squarely on the head."We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."
03-11-2004, 04:41 PM #20
From todays paper
Daley accuses minority aldermen of siding with lawyers suing city
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley accused minority aldermen Wednesday of consorting with the enemy for meeting secretly with attorneys representing black would-be firefighters challenging a 1995 entrance exam.
From the City Council rostrum and again at a post-Council news conference, Daley admonished aldermen to remember that Chicago taxpayers sign their paychecks -- not attorneys representing African-American applicants.
"Lawyers want to make money off the City of Chicago [with] all their lawsuits. Don't front for them. You represent the people," the mayor said, his voice rising in anger.
Daley acknowledged that the 1995 exam had an "adverse impact" on minorities. But he said the test was "valid" and it "would not have been appropriate to simply dismiss the results" and start over.
"I didn't like the results. When I flunked the bar exam, I did not like my results. But this exam has been a good exam. It's been fair and honest and open," he said.
What set the mayor off was a private City Hall meeting held Tuesday to update aldermen on a pending federal lawsuit filed by African-American would-be firefighters.
Thirteen black and Hispanic aldermen -- the maximum allowed without violating the Open Meetings Act -- gathered in a third-floor conference room to hear from plaintiffs' attorneys.
If a federal judge rules against the city after a January trial, the tab could be from $19 million to $80 million, depending on whether the candidates who claim to have been bypassed by the city's handling of the 1995 exam get jobs as firefighters or 81/2 years of pay.
Drafted by an African American with an eye toward diversifying the Fire Department, the exam drew more than 26,000 applicants. When the results for minorities were disappointing, the city established a cutoff score of 89 and started hiring randomly from the top 1,800 "well-qualified" candidates.
The plaintiffs contend that perpetuated the status quo in the Chicago Fire Department, since 78 percent of those "well-qualified" candidates were white. Not until fall 2002 did the city start hiring randomly from among the 20,200 candidates deemed "qualified" with scores of 65 and above.
Wednesday, former Deputy Corporation Counsel Matt Piers, an attorney for black firefighters, accused the city of delaying settlement talks until December, just before trial.
At that time, Daley offered to hire all 132 of the African-American candidates in the middle category who would have been hired in the last 81/2 years if the cutoff score had been what it is now.
"We said, 'You made these people wait eight years. You have to pay something. We proposed $19 million. Just back pay. No seniority enhancement award. No front pay. And we said . . . you don't have to pay for two years. And they said, 'We won't pay you one cent,'" Piers said.
Told about Daley's tirade, Piers said, "That's a very unfortunate response. He's got a problem in his Fire Department. All we're trying to do is address that problem. The city broke the law. Instead of continuing to deny that, the city ought to come to the table and work out a resolution."
Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd), one of those who met with Piers, refused to apologize for the secret meeting.
"It's my job to advocate for a fair and representative Fire Department. . . . If the test had been used as a pass-fail, the pool of applicants would have been reflective of the city," the alderman said.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
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