'I want the fire department to change,' Baltimore FF Says After Filing Suit

June 9, 2023
Lt. Mitchell Waters said taking the legal action was his last resort after his concerns fell on deaf ears.

"I want the fire department to change."

Baltimore Lt. Mitchell Waters said that's why he's filed a federal lawsuit against the department.

Waters told WBAL the suit was his last resort after his concerns fell on deaf ears.

The 12-year veteran firefighter and EMT's suit claims a hostile work environment, race and color discrimination, retaliation and civil rights as well as Maryland Fair Employment Practices violations.

"I'm just tired of it. I want change. I want the fire department to change. I've been fighting offenses (that), clearly, I didn't violate, and it's bad. It's real bad for us right now."

Waters told the media he filed the lawsuit to bring attention to how Black firefighters are handled in comparison to white firefighters.

The suit claims he was targeted after responding to a mutual aid call in 2021 in Balitmore County during which he had words with a female with Baltimore County Fire Department. Her husband, a city firefighter, filed a complaint against him.

After that, "Plaintiff has consistently been subjected to baseless investigations, fictitious charges and unwarranted disciplinary actions," according to the document.

"He doesn't want the fire department to push him out. He just wants to work peacefully. He wants to earn a living doing a job he loves in a community he loves," his attorney, Dionna Marie Lewis said.