City Firefighters Who Booed James Could Face “Education”

When does the expression of a person’s beliefs cross the line into workplace insubordination? That is the issue facing Fire Department of New York (FDNY) leaders as they consider disciplining firefighters who heckled New York Attorney General Letitia James at a recent promotion ceremony.

The controversy erupted when James, who is beloved by liberals for her attacks on Donald Trump, the National Rifle Association and corporations, was invited to attend the department’s promotion ceremony at the Christian Cultural Center’s Brooklyn Campus in Starrett City. According to a Uniformed Firefighter’s Association (UFA) memo, James was invited to attend because a friend of hers was being named a chaplain.

Video of the event shows that as soon as James approached the podium, members of the audience which included on duty and off-duty firefighters, their families and friends, began booing and jeering.

James initially took the jeering in stride. Soon after, some members of the audience began chanting “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and James appeared flustered.

According to the New York Post, the display at the ceremony ticked off Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, who launched an investigation to track down the offending firefighters.

Andrew Ansbro, president of the UFA, called the outburst at the ceremony “disappointing” — but said the union will always stand behind its members.

“We’re all kind of disappointed with what happened. It wasn’t a political event,” Ansbro told The Post Sunday. “Letitia James has always been a friend of the UFA. “This was disappointing. It was in a church. It’s not the place for it.”

The UFA union memo also reinforced that the department’s Bureau of Investigations and Trials (BITS) was going after the offenders.

FDNY members “should understand that BITS is gathering video and identifying members that brought discredit … to the department. We want the members to come forward. They will come to HQ to be educated why their behavior is unacceptable.”

The firefighters do appear to have one backer in City Hall. City Councilwoman Joann Ariola, who chairs the Committee on Fire and Emergency Management posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday that “First Amendment rights aren’t only for some. As we watch thousands of protesters across our city shouting vile and violent rhetoric on a daily basis, our First Responders should not be held accountable for exercising their First Amendment rights.”