Firefighter, Told That Atheists Like Him “Deserve to Burn,” Sues City of Bowling Green (KY)

A lawsuit filed this week by an atheist firefighter against the city of Bowling Green (Kentucky) has some damning claims about what he witnessed in the department.

In this video, a Bowling Green firefighter allegedly sets fire to the Qur'an.
In this video, a Bowling Green firefighter allegedly sets fire to the Qur’an.

Jeffrey Queen worked at the Bowling Green Fire Department for the past five years. But after several of his complaints were ignored, some by Deputy Chief Dustin Rockrohr (who is also named in the lawsuit), he was given a leave of absence earlier this year before being formally discharged in May.

Queen alleges in the lawsuit that he faced repeated harassment from co-workers because he is an atheist and was often called gay slurs. In one incident described in the complaint, a captain allegedly said he would burn down Queen’s house because he was an atheist, and in another a firefighter allegedly told him “if a homo works here, we’ll make sure he dies in a fire. We’ll chop his feet off.”

Queen’s complaint also alleges that both leadership and rank-and-file members of the fire department showed contempt for and used slurs to describe minority groups in Bowling Green, such as African-Americans, Muslims and the LGBT community. It refers to firefighters calling Muslims “towelheads” and “sandn—–” who should be deported or killed, and references a video — which is posted on the [law firm] Craig Henry website — of one burning the Quran in front of a fire station. The complaint also alleges that a captain said atheists “deserve to burn,” and several referred to a group of African-American men as “hood rats,” “n——” and “thugs.”

The complaint also alleges that firefighters repeatedly called LGBT people “faggots” and suggested they would not touch LGBT people because they “probably had AIDS.” According to the complaint, a crew allegedly put such words into action, declining to offer medical care to a man experiencing chest pain after determining he was gay.

Unbelievable… how many horrible people have to work together to let that sort of behavior go on?

Mayor Bruce Wilkerson has already announced that one firefighter Queen accused of wrongdoing had been placed on “administrative leave pending further investigation,” before choosing to retire. No other actions have been taken.

There are more details on the Craig Henry law firm’s website.

(Thanks to Wes B. for the link)

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