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Commentary: Miami-Dade Fire Department Discriminates Against Black Female Officer

by William 'DC' Clark

Faye Davis is known to many in the community as an activist that loves kids. She and other Black firefighters spent the entire Summer teaching neighborhood kids how to swim at the Betty Ferguson Sports Complex in Miami Gardens. She is also known as a straight shooter. If she doesn't like something she doesn't have a problem telling you. However, in the strait-laced, lockstep, para-military world of the Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Department, her MO of telling it like it is doesn't fit very well. Because of her outspoken demeanor, she has been passed over several times for promotions by the department despite scoring very high on the exams.

In 2009, Ms. Davis scored high enough to be 2nd in line for a promotion on the Chief's test. That same year, another Black female, Lisa Gilbert, scored high enough to become #3 on the same list. However, in an unusual set of circumstances, no one was promoted on that list. Later on, the department came back and only promoted the individual that finished #1, leaving both Davis and Gilbert to die at #1 and #2 respectively.

In 2010, Ms. Davis and Ms. Gilbert took the test once again with Gilbert finishing #4 and Ms. Davis finishing #5. However the department only hired the top three as Chiefs, leaving Gilbert and Davis to die on the list at #1 and #2 once again. Ms. Davis has since filed a discrimination case against the department but a friend of the department, Magistrate Elizabeth Schwabedissen, has since ruled that Ms. Davis cannot prove her case. On January 15, 2016, Judge Rodney Smith will rule if Ms. Davis has enough evidence to proceed in her case. It appears that the court and the department are trying to sweep this travesty under the rug.

Those of us who know Ms. Davis and the community service she provides, want the Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue to do the right thing where Ms. Davis and Ms. Gilbert are involved.


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John Galt

Mr. Clark,
How about the real TRUTH for a change.
Some years there just are not any retirements.
Maybe we should believe that Miami-Dade Fire Rescue gets together in some "dark room"
to force Chief Fire Officers to "not retire" this year because we don't "WANT" that person to get promoted.
Mr. Clark the fact that you would "still" believe that tells me you have no business coaching high school football players at Central High School.
Those kids deserve a better vision of life.
Do you actually have any idea how many African-Americans that this department has in upper management? How did they get there? How did they get an African-American Fire Chief?
You are a little person "stuck" in another generation. You embarrass all of us!!!!!

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