A Providence, Rhode Island firefighter, who arrived at the home of a bleeding elderly Black woman, has been fired after telling her to “stop eating fried chicken” while responding to a medical call, reports CBS News.
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said Andre Ferro was axed by the city’s Fire Department Trial Board, writes CBS. The firefighter said the offensive remark, based on the longstanding stereotype about African Americans, when he responded to a call for medical aid at an apartment in March.
Ferro arrived at the scene on March 15 and found a Black woman with a “nosebleed that would not stop,” said the Board. He allegedly then told the woman she should “stop eating fried chicken.”
Pare said that he launched an investigation into the incident after the woman’s granddaughter posted on Facebook that she was offended by the racist comment, reports the Providence Journal. Ferro’s termination was sought based on the investigation.
The board said that Ferro confessed that he made the remark, but claimed that he made it in the context of other types of foods to avoid. Ferro argued to go through cultural sensitivity training during a trial, according to CBS.
Tuesday’s termination marked the second time that Ferro was let go from the department. He was fired for sexual harassment in 2008, but was reinstated on appeal, said the board.