The FBI is investigating a case in which a New York volunteer firefighter received a racist, threatening letter.
On August 1, 28-year-old Kenneth Walker found a letter inside his mailbox at his home in North Tonawanda, New York. Walker, whose wife and two young children were home at the time, is the city’s only Black firefighter.
"[Explicit] are not allowed to be firefighters," the letter said, which was found without an envelope, address or name. "No one wants you in this city. You have until the end of the week to resign your position or you will regret it [explicit]."
"It shocked me," Walker told WGRZ. "I didn't think that type of thing went on nowadays."
North Tonawanda fire chief Joseph Sikora and Mayor Arthur G. Pappas found the letter disturbing and unacceptable, The Buffalo News reports.
"He’s a good guy, a good worker," Sikora said. "This is something I never thought I would have to deal with as a fire chief and it really has got me upset. I couldn’t apologize enough. We’ll help him any way we can."
"Needless to say we are appalled by this situation as it does not represent what the City of North Tonawanda stands for," Pappas stated. "I as mayor and the Common Council will not tolerate this type of behavior in our community. Any threats against our police, fire or other personnel are taken very seriously, as it is for all of our citizens."
The FBI is now investigation the letter.
"Our office will conduct a review to determine what investigative steps are indicated under FBI policy with regard to federal jurisdiction," the FBI said in a statement, WGRZ reports.
"There's no room for anything like this," Sikora said. "I want this taken to the fullest extent and whatever level they want this taken to, I want it taken to."
Although Walker was concerned because he has a family, he said he was not going to let the letter intimidate him.
"I'm not going to change my habits of what I've been doing," Walker said. "I'm still going to be helpful in the community. I'm going to go on calls and hopefully this is just an isolated incident and if it turns out to be more, I'm sure that and confident that the North Tonawanda police department will handle it."