Racism in policing garners the most attention because it has long-lasting and sometimes fatal consequences for those who encounter it. But systemic racism has become increasingly apparent in fire departments, too.
Four Black firefighters in Oakland were reportedly harassed and ostracized because of their race, and in another case, an Oakland fire captain was awarded a $450,000 settlement in 2015 after suing for discrimination.
Sacramento is now reckoning with the reality of racism in its own ranks after a young Black firefighter resigned and spoke out about his experiences.
Desmond Lewis, 27, tendered his resignation less than one year after joining the Sacramento Fire Department in March 2020. He cited a hostile work environment where he “regularly heard racially charged remarks, was suggested not to ‘congregate with just my own’ and was even questioned about my loyalty to the department because of the color of my skin,” Lewis wrote in his resignation letter.
Read the complete article at: The Sacramento Bee