JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new lawsuit accuses the City of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department of discriminatory employment practices.
The Lawyers' Committee filed the action Thursday on behalf of the Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP and the Jacksonville Brotherhood of Firefighters. The organizations claim only 20 percent of local firefighters are Black, despite making up 30 percent of the city.
"A career in fire service is one of only a few career opportunities in Jacksonville that offers job security, economic stability, and a means of promotion without a college degree," counsel Kirsten Doolittle said in a statement, "We are committed to ensuring that there is an equal playing field for African Americans seeking to serve this community as paramedics and firefighters."
The Jacksonville Human Rights Commission investigated JFRD's practices after nooses were reportedly hung inside several lockers. In August 2006, the Commission's findings revealed widespread discrimination against African-Americans.