A Providence, Rhode Island, firefighter will be disciplined after he raised his arm in a show of solidarity with local demonstrators who were protesting the Ferguson, Missouri, situation last week.
The firefighter was looking out a window of the Providence Public Safety Complex at protesters outside the building who were burning a flag.
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said the firefighter violated the department's code of conduct by showing partiality while on duty and in uniform.
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"That kind of conduct on duty is wrong. It's inappropriate. It's inciteful (sic) to protesters and it could have escalated into some violence," said Pare.
Pare said he was first notified of the incident by police officers on duty at the protest who saw the firefighter making the gesture in the window.
The officers reported it to the administration.
"They weren't happy because they're trying to manage a crowd that could become and did become unruly," Pare said.
It was after the flag burning incident that the protest intensified and the crowd moved onto the highway, shutting down traffic.
Pare said the firefighter in question did not violate any specific regulation, but rather a general code of conduct within the department.
"When you are a uniformed police officer or uniformed on-duty firefighter, you have limitations on when you can express your First Amendment rights," Pare said.