R.I. firefighter investigated for protest ‘gesture’
A video shows an on-duty firefighter raising his fist in approval during a flag-burning protest following the decision in Ferguson
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Providence firefighter is the focus of an internal investigation into a gesture he made during a flag-burning protest in front of the Providence Public Safety Complex, Target 12 has learned.
Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said the video shows the on-duty firefighter raising his fist in apparent approval of the flag-burning which attracted a large crowd. The incident happened last Tuesday night, following a Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer who shot a teenager to death. The Providence protest included about 100 people who blocked the garages that house the central station’s firefighting apparatus, before marching toward Interstate 95 which moments later was brought to a halt on the southbound side by members of the same crowd.
“We were disappointed in that (firefighter’s) behavior,” Pare said. “The gesture incited the crowd in a way that could’ve been dangerous to the officers who were trying to manage and keep the protestors safe.”