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Recruit class stands up for Detroit Fire Department’s watermelon man

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According to WJBK-TV, fired Detroit probationary firefighter Robert Pattinson is getting support from firefighters in his recruit class. Pattinson lost his job when he brought a watermelon with a pink ribbon as a gift to the firehouse where he was assigned. The gesture was seen as insensitive to African-American firefighters assigned to the firehouse.


Pattinson, a 41-year-old from Fenton who is white, told FOX 2 by phone that it was not a joke. But Fire Commissioner Eric Jones officially discharged him afterwards.

But Tuesday a social media post by Tadarius Spearman stuck up for Pattinson, including a group photo of him with other African-American firefighters.

“Just want to let everyone know he’s a real amazing dude and it was all good intentions,” he wrote. “And our entire class (is) supporting him in this. Especially us African-Americans and that’s all that needs to be said. Stay up brother. #DFD.”

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