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White Kansas fire supervisor suspended over photo of racist sweater

White Kansas fire supervisor suspended over photo of racist sweater

A white Wichita Fire Department supervisor who texted a photo of himself wearing a sweater featuring a naked Black man has been suspended for three days

A white Wichita Fire Department supervisor who texted a photo of himself wearing a sweater featuring a naked Black man has been suspended for three days without pay in one of the harshest penalties yet over racist, homophobic and sexist texts that were shared among the city’s SWAT team members.

Capt. Keith Niemann, who was punished this month, shared the image in a WhatsApp chat with the message, “having a good morning at the firehouse,” The Wichita Eagle reported. Niemann wore a sweater that featured a viral image of a naked Black man, Wardy "Wood" Joubert III, sitting on the edge of a bed — known as "Wood Sitting On a Bed." The photo became a popular meme during the first year of the pandemic.

Niemann's sweater read, "I have a big package for you," and featured a Christmas gift covering Joubert's genitals, according to The Wichita Eagle. Another white fire supervisor was also disciplined for sending an image showing a naked Black man doctored into a scene from the popular holiday movie “A Christmas Story.” But that supervisor’s identity and punishment have not been made public.

Fire Chief Tammy Snow said she is “deeply disappointed” in the two supervisors, who served as medics on the SWAT team.

Niemann was initially reprimanded and placed on paid leave but later received a three-day unpaid suspension. Stephanie Yeager, the business manager for the local branch of the union that represents the firefighters, the International Association of Fire Fighters, said Niemann was sorry and didn’t understand the significance of the image.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/white-kansas-fire-supervisor-suspended-photo-racist-sweater-rcna33255


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