The Fire Department of New York has a discrimination problem: In a city where, in 2002, 25 percent of the population was black and 27 percent was Hispanic, the fire department was 2.6 percent black and 3.7 percent Hispanic. Other city agencies don't have this problem, and neither do fire departments in other major cities.
FDNY is discriminatory, court says, but it hasn't yet been proven that it's intentional.
As Steven Thrasher extensively documented for the Voice in 2010, the overwhelming and disproportionate whiteness of the FDNY has been the subject of a roiling legal struggle for nearly half a century. The current lawsuit, brought by the Justice Department over an Equal Employment complaint by the Vulcan Society, a group of black firefighters, has been ricocheting around the federal court system since 2007.More »