New York City’s Woke Fire Chief Launches Effort to ‘Hunt Down’ Firefighters Who Booed Letitia James

New York City’s woke Fire Commissioner has reportedly launched an investigation to “hunt down” the firefighters who loudly booed New York Attorney General Letitia James and chanted in support of Donald Trump during a department promotion ceremony last week.

The incident took place last Thursday at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn.  James spoke at the event to honor her friend, Rev. Pamela Holmes, who was being sworn in as FDNY’s first black female chaplain.

According to the New York Post, the crowd was “made up of the families of captains, battalion chiefs and civilians up for promotion, as well as the firefighters who work beside them.”

The FDNY firefighters and staffers broke out in lusty boos as James approached the podium, and later chanted, “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

“Oh, come on. We’re in a house of God,” James said to the crowd as they heckled her. “Simmer down. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for getting it out of your system,” James said.

The crowd’s jeers came after James’ office last month won a punishing $454 million civil fraud judgment against Trump for allegedly inflating his wealth to bankers and investors.

An appeals court has allowed Trump to stay at the helm of the family company and apply for loans from Empire State banks to help post the bond.

But James has already vowed to ask a judge to seize Trump’s assets — including some of his prized Big Apple properties — if he fails to get the judgment stayed, and doesn’t cough up what he owes.

FDNY Chief of Department John Hodges sent an email to colleagues on Saturday explaining what steps were being taken to round up the suspects. Hodges said the Bureau of Investigations and Trials (BITS) was on the case working to identify the members who heckled James.

“I recommend they come forward. I have been told by the commissioner it will be better for them if they come forward and we don’t have to hunt them down,” he said.

“The [deputy chiefs] shall direct the captain of the company to make a list of those who come forward and send it directly to [FDNY operations]. I realize members might not come forward but they should know that there is clear video of the entire incident and they will be contacted by BITS if they don’t,” Hodges wrote.

Viral News NYC obtained a list of FDNY talking points for deputy chiefs investigating the incident, and posted it on X. The talking points stressed such behavior during a ceremony honoring members who made sacrifices was “grossly inappropriate” and “simply unacceptable.”

“Members have a right to political beliefs but you don’t have a right to make a job-related ceremony political in nature,” the chief said. “We want the members to come forward. They will come to headquarters to be educated why their behavior is unacceptable.”

The Uniformed Fire Officers Association sent out a message to its members on Saturday warning them of the directive and that the department is in “possession of video footage of the event.”

“As part of this discussion, questions may be asked to specific UFOA members over their actions or their recollections,” the message said.

The union advised members to follow FDNY regulations but to contact the UFOA for legal representation if they feel they are the subject of an investigation.

FDNY Fire Commissioner, Laura Kavanagh, who has never been a firefighter herself, issued an apology to the Christian Cultural Center on Sunday.

“We have decades of training and discipline that none of us want to see tarnished by the unprofessional behavior of a few,” she said. “On behalf of the New York City Fire Department, I’m sorry.”

Before becoming New York’s fire commissioner, Kavanagh was a Democrat activist and community organizer.

In 2004, she graduated from Whittier College with bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations.

Kavanagh went on to work “in campaign consulting with non-profits, community-based organizations and unions to advance their organizational goals,” according to her 2018 bio at Women’s Activism NYC.

She has worked on multiple Democrat election campaigns, including Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and Bill de Blasio’s first mayoral campaign in 2013.

Kavanagh served as a special assistant to Mayor de Blasio until she joined the FDNY in 2014, first as Director of External Affairs and then as Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs. She rose quickly up the ranks at the FDNY,  being appointed Deputy Commissioner for Government Affairs and Special Programs in 2015, and then First Deputy Commissioner in 2017.

During this period, Kavanagh spearheaded DEI policy initiatives for FDNY, directing “a firefighter recruitment campaign that yielded the most diverse applicant pool in the department’s history and has led to more women serving as FDNY Firefighters than ever before,” according to NYC.gov.

She served as acting Fire Commissioner in February of 2022 after the retirement of Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, and was appointed Fire Commissioner by Mayor Eric Adams in October 2022.

A spokesperson for the department confirmed on Sunday that the FDNY was investigating the incident.

“We’re looking into those who clearly broke department regulations. It has nothing to do with politics. It’s about professionalism at an official event held in a house of worship,” the spokesman said.

Some New Yorkers are disgusted with the Department’s “heavy-handed response,” according to the Post.

“It was a political stunt for the city to have the AG there,” an FDNY retiree fumed.  “When it backfired, they sent their fascist pit bulls after guys for exercising their First Amendment rights,” he added. “Most were off-duty and not in FDNY uniform.”

Famed criminal law attorney Alan Dershowitz also blasted the FDNY’s draconian response.

“Firefighters have an absolute constitutional right to boo the attorney general, and the government has no power to punish them for it,” Dershowitz told the Post. “So efforts to get the names of the booers is an effort by the government to chill free speech and is unconstitutional.”

NY Councilwoman Vickie Paladino weighed in on X.

“Hunting down firefighters who heckled Letitia James? It’ll be ‘better for them’ if they turn themselves in?” Paladino wrote. “I’m sorry but what?”

Paladino, who represents District 19 in Queens, added: “Letitia James isn’t the Queen, and we have a first amendment. These men were not in uniform, they were not violent or disruptive, and they had every right to express themselves to an elected official in that setting. Period.”

Paladino argued that “any recriminations or disciplinary action” against the Firefighter protesters would be illegal, “and should be met with fierce condemnation and legal action.”

“Not even a Bill DeBlasio went after the NYPD officers who turned their backs on him in protest. This is no different,” she wrote, adding that she has a “hunch” that the threats originated with Letitia James herself.

“Yet we’re supposed to believe Democrats like her are out there saving ‘democracy’ for us,” Paladino wrote. “Yeah right.”

The FDNY defended its response to the incident.

“Nobody is hunting anyone down. We’re looking into those who clearly broke department regulations,” said spokesman Jim Long. “It has nothing to do with politics. It’s about professionalism at an official event held in a house of worship.”



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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh speaks to the media outside of a building where four individuals lost their lives overnight in a fire that originated from an e-bike repair shop in Chinatown on June 20, 2023, in New York City. Lithium-ion e-bike batteries have caused numerous fires and fatalities in recent years due to the rising popularity of e-bikes for delivery purposes. New York City Mayor Eric Adams' administration has taken strong measures against unregulated e-bike and e-scooter batteries, which often present the highest risk when improperly charged. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)