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Latino Daily News

Tuesday January 25, 2011

Latino Firefighter Allegedly Threated at Work, Called “Beaner”

Monday, federal authorities were asked to sue the Houston Fire Department (HFD) after a Latino firefighter reported that he was being threatened at his station.

Though they have not been in contact with him, the Greater Coalition for Justice and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file a lawsuit against the HFD, and have also asked the FBI and the Department of Justice to look into the incident as a possible hate crime.

Over two months ago, Joseph Salcido reported to the city’s Office of the Inspector General that, in his locker at the station, he found a photograph of his equipment hanging by a noose from the fire station’s ceiling along with a sign that reportedly read, “Learn your f—-ing job, Mexican. You should be glad you don’t live in Arizona.”

After the seven-year fireman reported the alleged incident, he agreed to be transferred to another station in Houston.

LULAC and the coalition said they have chosen to act because they say nothing has resulted from the Inspector General’s investigation of the allegations.

City Attorney David Feldman, said the city and HFD cannot comment on the investigation until it is complete, but said, “We take any allegation of racial harassment very seriously.”

Not only did Salcido get the photo and sign, he received another note with just one word. “Beaner.”

Salcido’s case is only the latest in a long line of complaints of racism within the department.

“This has got to stop,” said civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen. “The city won’t do it and we need the federal government to come in.”