Firefighter Loses Job Over Racially Insensitive Watermelon
Would the Albany, Schenectady, Glens Falls or Troy FD handle it the same way? A probationary firefighter was fired recently because he brought in a watermelon (complete with a bow) as a gift to the veteran members of the station. Some of his African-American co-workers were offended, some were not, but he was promptly fired.
According to CBS 6 News Robert Pattinson, 41, from Detroit was the firefighter taking the heat for watermelon-gate. Fire Commissioner Eric Jones officially discharged Pattinson and issued a statement that read: “There is zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior inside the Detroit Fire Department. On Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at Engine 55, a trial firefighter (probationary employee) engaged in unsatisfactory work behavior which was deemed offensive and racially insensitive to members of the Detroit Fire Department.” 90% of the firefighters at the station are African-American.
It’s unclear as to whether or not Pattinson knew such stereotypes exist, but some of his former colleagues are standing up for him. 10 black firefighters stood by his side and posted this to social media, “Just wanna let everyone know he’s a real amazing dude and it was all good intentions,” the man wrote. “And our ENTIRE class supporting him in this. ESPECIALLY us African Americans and that’s all that needs to be said. Stay up brother. #DFD.”