UPDATED: 10:57 a.m. EDT, April 18 –
A firefighter who reportedly spit at and hurled the N-word at a preschool-age child at a Hooters restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas in February actually got his job back after a suspension, the Kansas City Star reported. Yes, the man was reinstated despite the disgusting and deplorable actions.
However, the Kansas City Fire Department firefighter identified as Terrence Jeremy Skeen, 42, will still face charges of battery, assault and disorderly conduct over the incident in a trial in May.
New details have also emerged about the case ahead of the trial. The firefighter had confronted the young child, who wandered away from a birthday party at Hooters, and spit at him. The man also referred to the child by the slur and threatened to shoot him, Raymond L. Harris, the boy’s grandfather told the KC Star. The restaurant manager actually then had the nerve to call the police on the boy’s family, not the firefighter, Michael Mitchell, the boy’s great-uncle, said.
The family left the restaurant out of fear and didn’t get to enjoy themselves.
Black Twitter has condemned the incident as an example of racist behavior that will not be tolerated. The man actually plans to plead not guilty to the charges, but he will continue to face the rebuke of many on social media.
UPDATED: 8:27 a.m. EDT, Mar. 5 –
Hooters of America offered its response Saturday to a racist incident that involved a man who is a firefighter spitting and hurling the N-word at a preschooler at one of its restaurants in Overland Park, Kansas last week.
“Hooters does not tolerate any harassment or discriminatory language, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees are our utmost priorities,” the statement read. “Of course it goes without saying that our policy is to fully cooperate with any law enforcement investigation.”
The Overland Park Fire Department, which was dragged on Twitter over the incident, clarified whether the man worked for them.
“Our understanding is this incident did not involve our personnel. We have confidence the investigation will be conducted properly,” the fire department tweeted.
The child had wandered away from a birthday party with family before he was confronted by the man’s nasty actions last Monday. After the preschooler was reunited with a relative, the man told police that he was a “first responder.” He is may face charges for battery and making a criminal threat.
A firefighter in Kansas won’t be able to put out a burning blaze over his horrific comment and behavior toward a young child in a Hooters restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas. This “first responder” actually had the balls to refer to a preschool-age child as the N-word and then spit on him on Monday night.
Please believe that we have sounded the alarm on this racist assault!
One witness detailed the man’s racist poison to KCTV5 News.
“He basically said get that little ‘blank’ up off the floor,” the witness recounted. “The n-word started to get thrown around.”
The comments left the witness speechless initially, but we and other folks likely have a lot to say about this incident, which prompted Overland Park police to the scene. The child had wandered away from his family during a birthday party inside the restaurant before a relative found him. When the two were reunited, the firefighter then used the evil racial slur and spat at the child. Oh heck no!
For some, his words and actions were fighting words and actions, but somehow, a physical confrontation didn’t happen. But these types of offensive situations usually set folks into formation in the fight against racist hate.
The firefighter later told police that he was a first responder as if that would somehow excuse what he did to that child.
“I didn’t catch what the officer said to him, but his immediate response was ‘It’s ok, I’m a fireman,’ like that was supposed to blanket cover everything for him,” the witness explained.
Now we have to mention that there were several witnesses at the restaurant. Thus, there are several people who can speak up and say what this firefighter did was dead wrong. We hope they have and will continue to do so.
The man may face charges for battery and making a criminal threat, but we will see if justice prevails. The man will likely be dragged and dragged as folks wait for a decision on charges. Yes, we gotta call out racist wrongdoing.