Duval County

Action News Jax Investigates: Controversial social media posts by JFRD Lieutenant

Jacksonville, FL. — Action News Jax investigates a Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department Lieutenant who is under investigation by the city for social media posts.

The city says the posts were made by Anthony Treadwell, a 17-year veteran of JFRD.

They include pictures of Aunt Jemima and the Confederate flag.

“It’s very appalling,” says Isaiah Rumlin who is the President of the Jacksonville chapter of the NAACP.

JFRD has faced at least three lawsuits related to racial discrimination in past, including one filed by the NAACP and the Department of Justice that was settled in 2019 for $4.9 million dollars.

“If these allegations are true and are proven to be true then this lieutenant needs to be dismissed from the fire department,” Rumlin said.

However, Action News Jax first told you in 2018 that Treadwell was one of two JFRD firefighters who sued the city, saying they were punished for testifying in a racial discrimination case.

Treadwell gave testimony that revealed he and another firefighter were told to “create the appearance that they were too busy to train” a black firefighter and to “let him fail.”

The city settled the case for $30,000.

“He felt retaliated against for defending an African-American,” said Randy Wyse who is President of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters.

“Is there a racism issue with JFRD,” asked Action News Jax Ben Becker. “I do not believe there is one,” says Wyse. “Despite even the past?” pressed Becker. “Yes even despite the past,” Wyse said.

The city sent Becker a statement:

“JFRD was made aware of the Anthony Treadwell’s social media post last week and immediately took action to address the situation. While the matter is under investigation, Treadwell has been reassigned to JFRD HQ and will have no official interaction with the general public.”