‘It’s disgusting:’ NAACP responds to firefighter’s blackface Halloween costume

Brevard County firefighter Jake Johnson accused of wearing blackface in social media picture

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County’s fire chief declined to provide an update Wednesday about the county’s investigation into a firefighter photographed wearing blackface at a Halloween party.

‘’We will not be doing any interviews or making any statements while an active investigation is going on,’’ Chief Mark Schollmeyer told News 6.

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The county said Tuesday Johnson was photographed at a costume party Saturday night.

Brevard County firefighter under investigation for blackface picture

The picture’s caption on social media referred to Johnson as “Denzel Washington.”

The vice president of the south Brevard County chapter of the NAACP, Bennie Jackson, Jr., saw the picture.

‘’I think it’s disgusting,’’ Jackson said. ‘’The history of blackface is offensive and it’s racist.’’

It’s that history that Jackson feels leaves the firefighter with no excuses, calling the firefighter’s actions deliberate.

‘’It would not be accepted if the party had been at the fire station,’’ he said.

Fire station 63 is where the county said Johnson works in Indialantic.

The county said he’s currently on vacation for two weeks.

Jackson said he’s willing to forgive the firefighter if he’s held accountable and would accept an apology.

‘’That’s not going to make it right, but that is acknowledgement and accepting responsibility of what he did,’’ he said.

The county said its attorney and human resources department are investigating the post.


About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.