Detroit firefighter Robert Pattison was just about to commence his first day on the new job, paid Engine 55 a visit in order to get to know everyone there. The customs goes that rookie firefighters need to present their colleagues with a new gift on their first day of work.
What actually followed immediately after, was that Pattinson got fired before even kicking his day off.
Reports assert that normally, new police officers bring along doughnuts, but rookies can take along almost anything they find fit. are usually the gift of choice, but rookies are allowed to bring in whatever they choose.
Pattison, sadly, showed up carrying a watermelon with a pink bow on it.
Many of the black staffers there were deeply insulted by the gesture, and reports suggest, around 90 percent of the Engine 55 staffers were African-Americans.
WJBK was interested to report what Second Battalion Chief Shawn McCarty, who is, by the way, black as well, thought of Pattison’s gift and if he found it racially troubling.
“To some people,” he said, but he feels firing Pattison was a little exaggerated.
“I don’t think so, I don’t think so. Between what he did and losing his job, there are a few things that could have been done.”
Shortly after, Fire Commissioner Eric Jones issued a statement as well:
“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.
After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the best course of action was to terminate the employment of this probationary employee.”
Firefighter Patrick Trout followed up:
“When you get your first detail at a firehouse, you pretty much know what you are getting yourself into. So you would have to say it was probably a bad call.”
Pattison stated was not a prank and he didn’t mean any offense by it.
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