Chicago Fire Department Investigates Alleged Removal of BLM Banner

Chicago News

The Chicago Fire Department announced Sunday that it had launched an investigation into an online post that alleged someone operating a firetruck removed a Black Lives Matter banner, officials said.

A post on Nextdoor — a hyperlocal social network — by Dr. Adele Cobbs claimed that the Black Lives Matter banner in Kenwood near Lake Shore Drive was taken down by two white men operating a firetruck, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“They literally obstructed traffic to do this,” Cobbs wrote in her post, which included a photo showing the firetruck. “Unbelievable. They are paid to serve our community and this is what they think about Black lives.”

Cobbs told the Chicago Tribune Sunday she saw one of the men taking down the banner from a fence shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday.

“I’ve seen that banner,” Cobbs told the Tribune. “It’s in a discreet place that was bothering no one.”

Cobbs pulled over and parked in front of the firetruck as it stopped along a two-way street to remove the banner.

“I stuck up my arms and said, ‘Why?’” Cobbs said.

The only thing she got in return from the firefighters was an aggressive honk of their truck’s horn.

So Cobbs filed a report with the department confirming what she saw.

A Chicago Fire Department spokesperson confirmed that an investigation had begun into Cobbs’ report, but declined to saw what, if any penalties the firefighters would face for taking down the banner.

“The conduct described in the allegation will not be tolerated by the Chicago Fire Department,” spokesman Larry Langford said in a statement.

“We have no tolerance for any conduct that demeans any of our residents and visitors, all of whom we have taken a sworn oath to serve. I assure you we will rapidly get to the bottom of this and if found to be accurate, discipline and corrective action will be swift and just,” Langford added.

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