Maryland Firefighter Suit Alleges Racist Behavior

April 1, 2009

A former volunteer firefighter is suing the Taneytown, Maryland fire company claiming he was subjected to racist language and behavior while serving there.

Pernell Hammond’s $1.5 million lawsuit filed in federal court last week alleges some members of the fire company used racist language and told racist jokes meant to belittle him.

Hammond, who is black, volunteered at the company as a firefighter and emergency medical technician in 2006. According to the complaint, Hammond was mocked when he asked that racist songs downloaded onto a company computer be removed. It also alleges that his manager encouraged racist jokes.

The suit says the behavior kept Hammond from effectively working as a firefighter and EMT.

The fire company’s president says the company wasn’t aware of the suit.


Information from: Carroll County Times of Westminster, Md.

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