The Delaware County courthouse in Media is seen on April 11, 2019.
Fire company in Delaware County suspended for alleged use of racial slurs
The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office plans to investigate the allegations.
The Associated Press
(Darby Township) — One of Darby Township’s three volunteer fire companies has been suspended after another fire company allegedly heard them using racial slurs and disparaging Black residents in a virtual meeting.
Briarcliffe Fire Company volunteers apparently failed to disconnect from the online meeting in January with local officials and the two other firehouses. The meeting was to discuss emergency services as well as possibly merging the three volunteer fire companies. Members of the Goodwill Fire Company made the audio recording.
The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office plans to investigate the allegations, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday.
In the nearly two-hour conversation, Briarcliffe firefighters allegedly bemoaned how the time had come to leave the township because Black residents continue moving into the area.
They also allegedly used racial slurs when talking about members of the township’s third volunteer firehouse.
One firefighter is alleged to have mocked the name of an 8-year-old Black girl, Fanta Bility, who was killed by police gunfire in Sharon Hill last summer.
“Whether or not a crime occurred, hate speech is always morally wrong,” said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer at a new conference Thursday.
Timothy Boyce, director of Delaware County’s Department of Emergency Services, said there would be no gaps in services due to Briarcliffe’s suspension.
Briarcliffe and Goodwill fire companies could not be reached for comment, and Briarcliffe’s Facebook page appeared to have been deleted, the newspaper reported.