San Francisco investigates alleged racism, hazing at academy

The probe comes after eight black trainees alleged “retaliatory, demeaning, punishing and racist/sexist behavior”

By FireRescue1 Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — An investigation has been launched by city officials into alleged racism and hazing at the fire training academy.

NBC Bay Area reported that eight black trainees wrote a letter to Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and claimed that the N-word was used in a training session, and they were offended by the “retaliatory, demeaning, punishing  and racist/sexist behavior.”

Fellow trainees have come forward with a petition and said the academy treats them all equally, "without any indication of racism, sexism or favoritism.”

Three trainees were recently dismissed, and two of them could possibly be amongst those who complained.

“We have to get to the bottom of that," fire commission member and civil rights lawyer Joe Alioto Veronese said. “If you fail out of the academy you’re out – there’s a long list to get back into the academy. We need to make sure we are addressing these issues now.”

Board members of the Black Firefighters Association said they “look forward to the City’s Attorney’s Office taking the necessary steps to conduct a complete, thorough and unbiased investigation."

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