Racist Fire Chief Refuses to Help Black Motorists in Accident

Racist Fire Chief Refuses to Help Black Motorists in Accident November 21, 2014

Here’s a fire chief who should be fired immediately, in Bullitt County. Fire Chief Julius Hatfield has been caught on camera telling a sheriff’s deputy that he isn’t going to help a black family involved in an accident because, “We ain’t taking no niggers here.”

Hatfield first goes out of his way to provide assistance to Loren Dicken, who is white.

“You got a jack, ain’t you?” Hatfield asks the driver. “If you show me where them things is at, I’ll get my guys to start changing the tire for you.”

At first, Dicken turns down the offer, but Hatfield insists, saying, “It will save you a bill.”

Firefighters working for Hatfield even picked Dicken up from the hospital and took him back to the firehouse, where his car was ready and waiting.

But Hatfield treats the family of four black motorists completely differently.

“Well, I’ve got a family of four from Cincinnati, I got to do something with,” the Bullitt County deputy tells Hatfield over the radio.

“We ain’t taking no n*ggers here,” Hatfield replies, laughing.

Fire him. Instantly. And then tell the fire department that if his house is ever on fire, let it burn because “we ain’t taking no racists here.”

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  • John Pieret

    I was going to say “Film at 11:00” but they apparently already have that. From later in the article:

    And when WDRB’s Valerie Chinn attempted to ask Hatfield about the financial management of Southeast Bullitt Fire Department at a town meeting, he suggested that she didn’t understand English, and threatened to have her arrested.

    “Do you understand English darling?” he says in video recorded at the public meeting by WDRB cameras. “Do you understand English?

    And it’s all on tape, of course. But maybe someone has been explaining things to him:

    Hatfield later told Chinn over the phone that he did not recall the remarks he made while responding to the accident on I-65 in September, but he was sure that it was a slip of the tongue. Chinn said that he also apologized for the way that he treated her at the town meeting.

    “Slip of the tongue” … now that’s a good one.

  • He’s not racist. He’s got plenty of black tires!

  • eric

    From the article, it also appears he implied the local news journalist who asked him about it couldn’t understand English, then threatened to have her arrested. Classy.

  • eric

    Off topic but this just in! Congressional republicans actually went and filed a lawsuit over Obamacare. This should be fun to watch.

  • Childermass

    Fire him with cause.

    Though I hope the comment about letting his house burn is just empty rhetoric as the quality of the person should never be a consideration for emergency workers. And besides, not putting out the fire might result in a nice person living next door losing her house too.

  • kylawyer

    I live in Louisville, Kentucky which is adjacent to Bullitt County. I have been to the courts there on several occasions and I am not shocked by this. To say Bullitt County is redneck heaven would be a gross understatement. It’s virtually all white and all rural, with a mostly white trash population base. My late father in law was a physician and while in residency used to work at a local clinic in that county. He said it was amazing how much inbreeding amongst the population there was. The Tea Bagger Party has a big following there as does the religious right. Louisville/Jefferson County is a fairly conservative blue city, but it is a commie paradise compared to Bullitt County.

  • kylawyer “…which is adjacent to Bullitt County…”

    I was a cop there. I can’t tell you how many tickets I handed out to green Mustangs (for various moving violations [“All of them”]) and black Chargers (“I don’t care how dead you are, you can’t park your Charger here in this burning gas station.”)

  • LightningRose

    His personal information can be easily found by a simple web search.


  • Loqi

    I know that feeling. I have slips of the tongue all the time. Strangely though, nothing insanely racist comes out. It’s usually something like saying “shit” in a meeting with higher-ups or deriding a JavaScript framework in the presence of someone I knew championed it. I guess it must be sheer dumb luck that my slips of the tongue are minor breaches of decorum while his are mind-bogglingly racist.

  • ragarth

    Given the recent rash of bigots trying to claim their religion gives them special privilege to refuse service to gays, it’d be interesting to see if the motivation for this jerk’s racism is religious.

  • Childermass

    Personal contact info, no matter how easily obtained, really should not be publicized for anyone no matter how vile. This asshole’s punishment should be to lose his job — period. His family should be left out of it and it is not our place to punish him other than refusing to associate with him and insisting that his higher-ups deal with him appropriately.

    That wingnuts would do it if the roles were reversed is not a justification.

  • caseloweraz

    Is there some special onus that strikes people named Julius whose last name starts with “H”? I mean, Judge Julius J. Hoffman of Chicago Seven trial fame. Just sayin’…

    (That “small but combative man” died in 1983, according to the New York Times.)

    As for Hatfield, perhaps he should be required to change his name to Hatefield. (But maybe “McCoy” would hurt more…)

  • caseloweraz

    Childermass: Personal contact info, no matter how easily obtained, really should not be publicized for anyone no matter how vile.

    Well said.

    In addition, there’s no way to tell from the information provided if it applies to the Julius Hatfield who is the bigoted fire chief, even though that might seem likely.

  • busterggi

    Well he won’t need this job after he gets elected governor anyways.

  • bushrat

    But, but, but…umm Negoes Blacks can be racists too!

  • lorn

    Fire him and you create a martyr. Fire departments are hierarchical with rank having its privileges, such as avoiding grunt labor and increased pay , in such situations the more effective move is to demote him where his status and presence will serve as an object lesson.

    It also presents him with a hard choice, either accept the reduced status and learn some humility while having to sweep and mop with the rest of the probies, with a good chance more than one of them is black or brown; or slapping away the offer of the job and retirement, and showing himself unable to handle the sort of consequences and correction that he has, as chief, been charged with handing out. Hard choice, either he learns some humility while disavowing any status as a martyr, or he accepts the status as martyr, but as a martyr for hatred and racism that was given a fair chance to do the job he loves and rebuild his career.

    Yes, the harder option, firing him and doing everything possible to divest him of any benefits feels right, but in this case less is more.

  • He won’t be fired:

    The fire department is run by the district board and Southeast Bullitt Fire and Rescue Inc., a nonprofit corporation that manages its tax dollars. Hatfield is a member of both boards — which, in effect, makes him partially his own boss.

    To remove Hatfield from his positions, the district board would have to approve taking away his title as chairman and the corporation board would have to approve firing him as chief, Thibodeaux said.

    “They won’t do that,” Thibodeaux said. “They’re all part of his little group.”

    Apparently, Hatfield “loves black people” and only said the n-word because he wasn’t thinking clearly…

  • Abdul Alhazred

    The big issue isn’t that he “said the n-word”, it’s that he said he wouldn’t help them in his official capacity.

    In short, saying bad words is trivial compared to boasting of professional malfeasance.

  • bmiller

    tacitus: Ah, the benefits of privatizing public services!