FDNY Targets Firefighters Who Protested Letitia James

The president of a firefighters union that represents members of the FDNY last week expressed concern that some members may face disciplinary action for heckling New York Attorney General Letitia James during a March 7 promotion ceremony, the Associated Press reported.

Attorney General James faced a torrent of boos and heckling as she took the stage to deliver remarks when the FDNY installed the Rev. Pamela Holmes-Saxton as the department’s first black female chaplain at a promotion ceremony at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.

Some in the audience appeared angry with the Democrat attorney general over her civil fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump. As some in the crowd booed James, others heckled her with pro-Trump chants.

Following the incident, FDNY officials sent out an internal memo that was subsequently shared on social media. In the memo, officials criticized the heckling as “grossly inappropriate” and said it was disrespectful to the loved ones who attended the March 7 ceremony.

The officials chided the firefighters who heckled James, saying while they had a right to express their political beliefs, they should not do so on the job. The memo noted that the attorney general was not there to make a political speech but to show support for the FDNY’s first black female chaplain, Rev. Holmes.

The memo urged all those who participated in the heckling to come forward, explaining that the department was reviewing videos as part of its investigation of the incident.

Andrew Ansbro, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association told the Associated Press that while the heckling was “unfortunate,” especially given Attorney General James’ support for the FDNY, promotion ceremonies like the one on March 7 often have a “carnival atmosphere” with firefighters showing up in costumes or blowing air horns.

Ansbro noted that there was no blowback from department officials after some firefighters booed FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh during a promotion ceremony last year.

He told the Associated Press that the union was concerned that its members could face discipline for booing James even though none of the top officials who attended the March 7 ceremony intervened at the time.