Black Firefighter's Settlement Vetoed by L.A. Mayor
Douglas Barry, a 31-year veteran, will serve until Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa selects a permanent replacement for Chief William Bamattre, who announced his retirement Friday. Barry does not want the permanent job, the mayor's office said.
The fire department has been plagued by complaints of discrimination and rampant hazing.
"I know that we can stop hazing and horseplay, I know that we can address the department's history of discrimination and exclusion, I know that we can build a department that looks like Los Angeles," Barry said.
Firefighter Tennie Pierce claimed that he was fed dog food because he is black. But other firefighters said it was an ordinary firehouse prank with no racist intent.
The mayor vetoed a $2.7-million settlement with Pierce after photos surfaced showing that Pierce had himself engaged in firehouse hazing. (Source: AP)