Washington Heights fire chief suspended over racist Facebook post

A volunteer fire chief in Orange County has been suspended from the department after calling protesters "pavement apes" on Facebook.

News 12 Staff

Jun 3, 2020, 9:18 PM

Updated 1,445 days ago

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A volunteer fire chief in Orange County has been suspended from the department after calling protesters "pavement apes" on Facebook.
News 12 first reported on the remarks allegedly made Washington Heights Fire Chief Chuck Healy on Tuesday. Hours later, fire officials in Wallkill responded by letting him go.
The department released a statement on Facebook saying they're embarrassed and do not condone the remarks.
"The mission of the fire department is to protect all residents. Mr. Healy's post was insensitive and inappropriate at a time when all people should be unified against hate and discrimination," the post said.
Healy allegedly called protestors "pavement apes" on his personal Facebook page and when News 12's Blaise Gomez asked him about it on Facebook Messenger, he responded by calling her a "moron" and saying his "grandchildren are colored."
The remarks sparked outrage online with comments from viewers saying, "How can someone be a public servant and a racist? He needs to go." and "Absolutely horrible. When you put on a uniform, no matter what type, there is an expectation of behavior. He should be removed."
So far, it is not clear if Healy's removal is permanent but the department says he should issue a public apology, which so far, has not been done.
Wallkill Town Supervisor Frank DenDanto also condemned the remarks and says he supports the actions being taken by the fire department.
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