Lansing firefighter dismissed after posting police Chief’s phone number publicly

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 2:59 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michael Lynn, the Lansing firefighter who is suing Mayor Andy Shor and the Lansing Fire Department for racial discrimination, has been fired for publicly posting sensitive information about the police chief.

Lynn had already been on extended leave with duty-related injuries, and as his lawsuits progressed in court. The suits alleged other firefighters frequently commented on Lynn’s race and qualifications, which created a hostile work environment. He said the discrimination escalated until a banana was left on the windshield of his truck in 2017.

Lynn says he felt it was harassment and intimidation. He also alleged the city retaliated against him after he complained about the behavior, a charge Lansing officials have denied.

Lynn shared the police chief’s personal phone number while responding to a Facebook post in which the Lansing Police Department honored a police dog killed in 1999, while not naming the Black 18-year-old killed by police that night.

The City addressed the firing in a written statement from Police Chief Darryl Green.

“There is no free speech argument to be made, this was a malicious use of information gained that is directly related to his position as a City of Lansing employee,” Chief Green wrote. “Lynn has used his speech in a way to endanger others in the community and further obstruct the police department in its public safety and reform efforts.”

Fire Chief Greg Martin wrote, “The Lansing Fire Department followed the disciplinary process in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. On February 17, 2021, the Lansing Fire Department completed their investigation and determined that Michael Lynn was in violation of numerous department policies. As a result, the decision has been made to terminate his employment.”

After he was informed of his termination, Mr. Lynn also released a statement.

“This is pure retaliation by Chief Green, Mayor Schor, and the Lansing Fire Department administration,” Lynn wrote. “They cite in my termination letter that I am the driving force behind the community being upset with the Lansing Police Department, and that is simply not true. We are lucky to live in a community that is well-informed and holds its government responsible for its shortcomings, and the City’s attempt to blame me for the community’s dissatisfaction with its repeated failures is an insult to the citizens of Lansing.”

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