Media Advisory: FDNY in Federal Court over Remedies to Cure Discrimination Against Black Firefighter Candidates

CONTACT:  [email protected]

New York, July 28th – On Monday, August 1, the City of New York will be asked at a trial in federal court in Brooklyn how it intends to remedy its 40-year history of racial discrimination against Black firefighter candidates. The proceedings before Judge Nicholas Garaufis are part of a successful lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of the Vulcan Society, the fraternal society of black firefighters, in which the Judge found that the FDNY has engaged in a pattern and practice of intentional discrimination in violation of civil rights laws.

The trial, which is expected to last at least a week, will focus on the affirmative steps the City must take to remedy the discrimination against Black candidates.

In pre-trial briefs CCR asked the Court to order the City to enhance targeted recruitment in the Black community, reinstate its Fire Safety Cadet program, change the nepotism-ridden candidate background investigation process and appoint a special monitor to investigate discrimination and retaliation against Black firefighters in the future.  The City’s witnesses are expected to address these issues and others.

CCR attorney, Darius Charney, who will represent the Vulcans during the proceedings, said “We are hopeful that after hearing the evidence, the court will grant a remedy that will result in a fire department that finally reflects the diversity of the City it serves.”   CCR is co-counseling with Levy Ratner and Scott & Scott.

WHAT:  Federal Court Trial on Remedies to End Racial Discrimination in the FDNY

WHERE: US Courthouse, 226 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn - Courtroom of Judge Nicholas Garaufis

WHEN: Monday, August 1st 9:30 am


The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

July 29, 2011