A Philadelphia-area fire station has been suspended for a month pending an investigation after volunteer members were caught using racial slurs and mocking an 8-year-old Black girl who was fatally shot by police last year during a Zoom call.
The firefighters from Briarcliffe Fire Company Station 75, in Delaware County, attended a virtual meeting in late January to discuss the consolidation of services between the Briarcliffe, and other local fire companies.
They thought their conversation was private. However, once county and state officials got off the call, six members of the Briarcliffe Fire company stayed on and continued to make racist remarks and disparaging remarks about African Americans in the area.
'A Bunch of F*cking N*ggers Down There'
"A bunch of f*cking n*ggers down there," one Briarcliffe firefighter says while referring to the all-Black Darby Township Fire Company.
The Briarcliffe firefighters also called Darby's chief a racial slur and a "piece of sh*t," complained about Black firefighters being lazy, and discussed there being too many African-Americans living in the area.
"That's the f*cking problem," one Briarcliffe firefighter said. "Blacks are taking over sh*t."
Firefighters Mocked Fanta Bility
They went on to mock Fanta Bility, an 8-year-old Black girl killed by police in Delaware County during a high school football game in August 2021. Three police officers are facing charges in connection with Fanta's death, as previously reported. "Fanta soda, yeah, orange or Fanta grape," one Briarcliffe firefighter reportedly said on the call while chuckling.
A lawyer for Fanta's family, Bruce Castor Jr., said in a statement that her relatives were "appalled" by the allegations.
"A kind and loving girl, Fanta brightened the lives of everyone she met," the statement said. "To speak of her with such disrespect, shines the light of shame on those people at the fire house making the remarks, and reflects negatively on those good and true first responders who pledge their lives to the service of all members of the community."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Darby Township commissioners, who shut down the fire station on Wednesday, have asked the Delaware County District Attorney's Office to investigate the call for possible criminal charges.