Firefighters return after flag dispute

Oct. 26, 2001 at 3:26 PM
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MIAMI, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Three firefighters placed on leave with pay for allegedly refusing to answer a call because their truck was flying an American flag have been cleared of those accusations and are expected to return to work this weekend.

The three firefighters removed a flag from their truck Sept. 15, just four days after the terrorism attacks on the United States A six-week investigation backed up the story by William Clark, Terry Williams and James Moore that the flag was obstructing their vision.

Clark was cited in the report resulting from the investigation as being insensitive. He had remarked to the media that the United States had never apologized for slavery. All three had told superiors that for African-Americans, the flag is a symbol of oppression.

Chief Dave Paulison said he and Moore will have to undergo counseling.

The three men were placed on administrative leave while the six-week investigation was being carried out.

Clark said the three men are consulting with an attorney because they have concerns about their safety once they return to work.

In an Internet chat room, other firefighters have said they would refuse to work with them men or back them up in a fire.

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