Wis. Department's Racial Email Stirs Controversy


The Waukesha County's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter is calling for an investigation into the distribution of what it said is a racially offensive email distributed by members of the Brookfield Fire Department.

An internal investigation is under way at the Brookfield Fire Department after 12 News brought to their attention an email sent by a concerned resident who saw it'd been forwarded by several Fire Department employees last week from their work email accounts.

The email includes a photo of a trailer carrying an oversize piece of black rock or coal, and the caption reads "I-90 will be closed tomorrow across South Dakota. They are hauling a 200-ton lump of coal so they can add Obama to Mount Rushmore..."

Janet Lucas, of the Waukesha County NAACP, said the email isn't political at all.

"I guess when I first read the email, it was total shock, but unfortunately that is just an example of what's happening in our society today. The lack of respect that you see towards our president, it is unfortunate," Lucas said. "(There's) definitely racial overtones," Lucas said.

"(There's) actually hate. You can feel the hate when you read the words. And to me, it's just the beginning of a hate crime that needs to be stopped," Waukesha County NAACP President Lillie Wilson said.

Brookfield Fire Chief Charlie Myers said two of his employees admitted forwarding the email last week during work hours -- a clear violation of city policy and both will face disciplinary action.

"There's no doubt those kinds of comments aren't appropriate, and it's not something that we as public officials should be condoning in any way," Myers said

The fire chief told 12 News he's already followed up with the city's Human Resources Department and their IT department, and late Thursday afternoon Myers met with the employees in question. He said they are both extremely apologetic.

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