Updated 03/18/2013 10:22 PM
Fire Commissioner's Son Resigns As EMT After Hateful Tweets Are Made Public
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The son of Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano has resigned from his job as an EMT after apologizing for offensive messages on Twitter about Jews, African Americans and even his patients.
Joseph Cassano's postings have since been deleted.
One of his messages included a derogatory term for African-Americans and a post in which he says he likes Jews "about as much as Hitler."
In a statement released through the FDNY before he decided to leave his post, Joseph Cassano said, "I regret posting some comments that were offensive, especially since I enjoy my job and treat every patient with great care and respect."
In a statement, the FDNY commissioner expressed disappointment in his son's comments adding they "do not reflect the values – including a respect for all people – that are held by me, my family and the FDNY. I have worked hard for many years, as have so many people in the agency, to make the FDNY more diverse and inclusive. There is no place - and I have no tolerance - for statements that would harm the good reputation we enjoy due to our honorable service to all New Yorkers."
The commissioner went on to say, "As a parent, this is very painful for me, but I believe my son has made the right decision. I love him very much and, with the support and love of our entire family, we will get through this together."
Meanwhile, members of the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of black firefighters, say this is not an isolated incident or limited to one person.
John Coombs, the society's president, told reporters Monday, "Our commissioner, if I do recall, said not that long ago that he had never been exposed to or witnessed racism or racist practices from firefighters in his 40 years. Well that lends to a question, then: I wonder where young Cassano gotten such thinking from?"
The FDNY is more than four-fifths white, even though whites make up just a third of the city's population.
The incoming class of firefighters that was sworn in back in January is 24 percent Hispanic, 14 percent black and 4 percent Asian.
The FDNY's hiring process was halted for several years by a federal judge, who ruled the department's entrance exam discriminated against people of color.
In response, FDNY officials revised the entrance exam and stepped up recruiting efforts among the city's minority communities.