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Activists ask for volunteer firefighter to be fired

Rush Fire Department Logo
Rush Fire Department Logo

Activists are calling for a volunteer firefighter in the town of Rush to be fired because they say he made racist comments on Facebook.

The comment was allegedly made by Doug Watson last month in the comments section of a livestream on Facebook where Federal charges on money laundering, conspiracy, and wire fraud against Rochester City Council Vice President Adam McFadden were being announced.

Some in the community believe the comment was directed at McFadden and were racist, including activist Julie Weller. Weller and other activists searched Watson’s Facebook page where they found another post that they deemed racist. Weller says these kinds of statements must be confronted.

"We can't keep pretending that this isn't a problem in Rochester. White supremacy and racism is a huge problem in Western New York," said Weller. "I hope with some community pressure they'll show themselves to be more accountable and seek out some training."

WXXI News contacted the leaders of the Rush Volunteer Fire Department and its attorney. They say the department did investigate the matter and came to a decision which they would not disclose. In a statement, they say they don’t agree with, sanction or authorize any personal statements by its members.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.
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