A firefighter with the New York Fire Department (FDNY) is reporting that he was the victim of racial discrimination. Lt. Daniel McWilliams, who is white, is alleging that he was kicked out of an “all-black” color guard procession because of his race, and is suing with a claim of anti-white discrimination.

McWilliams was a first responder during the tragic terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11, and was pictured in an iconic photo as he, George Johnson and Billy Eisengrein raised a flag at the remains of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He filed the equal employment opportunity complaint after he appeared as part of a ceremonial unit during a memorial service Nov. 19.

As reported by Firehouse.com: McWilliams was one of two white members of the six-person ceremonial crew that day. He did not particpate in the service, sources said, and later complained about Vulcan President Regina Wilson. It was not clear what McWilliams and Wilson did or said to prompt the disagreement. The FDNY confirmed that a complaint had been filed but would not discuss it further.

“The matter is under investigation,” said Jim Long, a FDNY spokesman.

According to the New York Post, instead of holding a flag, McWilliams, 51, was asked by Wilson to “help in a different capacity” at a church service, according to FDNY sources.

“I have asked Lt [Mc]Williams to help in a different capacity for the ceremony today,” read a text from Regina Wilson, president of the Vulcan Society — a fraternal organization of black firefighters. “I want to have an all-black color guard.”

McWilliams, a 27-year veteran who is currently assigned to Ladder 103 in East New York, is accusing Wilson of discrimination.

The Vulcan Society has been pushing for a more diversified FDNY, after a 2014 incident when the department agreed to pay $98 million to settle a lawsuit charging discrimination against blacks and Hispanics applying to become firefighter, according to The Daily Mail.

 

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