I have seen and heard many crazy stories, but, this is the mother of all stories.
A Providence Firefighter was fired after telling an elderly Black woman in need of assistance she should “stop eating fried chicken.”
The firefighter, Andre Ferro,was fired by the city’s Fire Department Trial Board Tuesday for the racially insensitive comment, according to Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare.
In 2008, Ferro had previously faced disciplinary action for violating the department’s sexual harassment policy, but was “reinstated as a result of an arbitration award and a last chance agreement,” according to the board. Ferro served a one-year suspension and was required to undergo sexual harassment training.
In their 2-1 decision the board wrote, “After considering his previous disciplinary history, Ferro’s conduct of March 15, 2017, and the context in which it arose and the potential damage to the reputation of the Providence Fire Department as a result of firefighter Ferro’s conduct, the board finds the only appropriate penalty to be imposed is termination.”
Ferro responded to the March medical call to help a woman suffering from a “nosebleed that would not stop.” While other responding firefighters attempted to stop the unidentified woman’s nosebleed, Ferro allegedly told the woman’s daughter her mom “should stop eating fried chicken.”
Ferro told Commissioner Pare he did make a comment about fried chicken. However, he said “he made the comment in the context of other types of foods to avoid such as cheese, bacon and burritos,” the decision states.
Several witnesses testified that they considered Ferro’s remark racist. James Vincent, the president of the local branch of the NAACP, told the board he considered the comment racially insensitive.
Suprisingly, Ferro’s wife is African American.
She testified that she had never heard her husband make racially motivated comments.
Ferro and the firefighters’ union argued for him to receive “cultural sensitivity training,” but the board said it placed “significant weight” on Ferro’s previous misconduct.