Detroit Firefighter Fired Over Seemingly Condescending Watermelon Gift
Robert Pattison, a probationary firefighter, decided to bring a watermelon wrapped in a pink ribbon to his new workplace and his new coworkers were appalled. Fox 2 Detroit is reporting that some African-American firefighters were instantly offended, since 90 percent of the people who work at Engine 55 are black.
Many found the 41-year-old as being facetious with his gift. FOX 2 spoke to Pattison by phone, who claims it was not a joke – and he did not mean to offend his fellow firefighters.
Fire Commissioner Eric Jones says the Fenton native was officially discharged.
In a statement Jones says:
“There is zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior inside the Detroit Fire Department. On Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at Engine 55, a trial firefighter (probationary employee) engaged in unsatisfactory work behavior which was deemed offensive and racially insensitive to members of the Detroit Fire Department.
Do you think this is a normal gift to give, especially to a Black firehouse???