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Racist comments after consolidation talks shuts Pennsylvania fire company

Comments heard after Briarcliffe Fire Company apparently didn't exit virtual meeting leads to temporary closure, for now

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TaRhonda Thomas, WPVI-TV:

Briarcliffe Fire Company Station 75 is silent. No firetrucks and no firefighters are moving inside or outside.

It comes after the fire company was temporarily shut down following allegations of racist remarks by firefighters who thought their video call conversation was private.

The original call was to discuss the consolidation of services between the Briarcliffe, Goodwill, and Darby fire companies.

When county and state officials got off the call, members of the Briarcliffe Fire Company allegedly stayed on and engaged in a discussion that included racial slurs and disparaging remarks about African Americans in the area.

“A bunch of f—ing n— down there,” one man can be heard saying while discussing the all-Black Darby Township Fire Company. There were also comments about Darby’s chief.

“He’s just a piece of s___,” one person said.

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Pete Bannan,

The letter was read at the commissioners Wednesday evening meeting. It indicates that following a virtual meeting which was held on Jan. 27 the Briarcliffe station did not disconnect from the link and over the next hour and 45 minutes station members could be heard, but not seen making racist, insensitive and disparaging comments towards Black firefighters from the other stations as well as Black residents and mocking the name of Fanta Bility, the 8-year-old shot by police at Academy Park High School last fall.

Among the comments were racist terms in referring to the number of active members at Darby Township Station 4, the mention of arson to homes and mentions of assaults to other firefighters.

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