TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone are calling for an investigation after a fire truck was seen displaying a Confederate flag at a local parade.
“I’m appalled by reports that a Confederate flag was flown on a Brookhaven Fire Department truck at a Patchogue parade,” the governor said in a statement Monday.
Cuomo said he directed the New York State Division of Human Rights to look into the incident. Hours earlier, Bellone had called on the state to investigate.
“The incident involving an individual displaying a confederate flag from a fire truck in our county warrants further review. The public also must have confidence that any review of this matter is handled independently to ensure for a fair and impartial outcome,” he said in a statement. “Hate and bigotry have no place in Suffolk County and we must demonstrate that we take these matters seriously.”
A Facebook user posted a picture Sunday of a Brookhaven Fire Department truck flying the flag.
The department released a statement later that night saying one firefighter was responsible and the flag was not authorized by the department’s leadership.
“The strength of our community has always come from its diversity and our department has always sought to be inclusive,” the statement read in part. “We can assure our community that ‘Racism has no home in our Firehouse.’ To our community, our fellow Firefighters and EMS members, we apologize and can assure you that disciplinary action for this matter has already commenced.”
It’s unclear what, if any, discipline the firefighter will face.
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