By Elaine Magliaro
Julius Hatfield, the Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief, is reported to be under fire after footage of his racist comments were made public. In September, Hatfield “was recorded on a Bullitt County Sheriff deputy’s body camera during a response to a traffic accident…” Hatfield allegedly refused to help a family of stranded motorists because they were black.
Video from a Bullitt County Sheriff’s deputy’s body camera shows Hatfield’s department responding to a car accident on I-65, south of the Clermont exit in September.
“Well, I’ve got a family of four from Cincinnati, I got to do something with,” the Bullitt County deputy said in the video.
Hatfield replied, “We ain’t taking no n—— here.” Then he laughs.
Jenny Kuttner (Salon) reported that the footage also revealed Hatfield helping Loren Dicken, the other man who was involved in the traffic incident. According to WDRB, Hatfield went out of his way to assist Dicken with a tire issue.” The chief was also said to have had his firefighters pick the man up from the hospital when he was released.
But Hatfield was reportedly less than helpful for the other driver involved in the accident, Chege Mwangi, who is black. Mwangi told WDRB reporter Valerie Chinn that Hartfield (sic) suggested he, his wife and two children contact Triple A for assistance, before asking for registration and proof of insurance. When Chinn, who is Asian-American, contacted Hartfield (sic) to ask about the alleged disparities in his treatment of the two families as well as possible mismanagement of his department, the fire chief offered a startling (also racist) response.
Chinn reported that “Hatfield later apologized for repeatedly asking her if she speaks English, and claimed that he did not remember using the N-word to describe the Mwangi family.”
Raw Story said that “Mwangi told WDRB that he noticed that the firefighters had provided assistance to other motorists, but his family wasn’t injured so he didn’t think much of it. However, he said that the sheriff’s department was helpful.”
The Courier-Journal has reported that Hatfiled said he “made a mistake” when he made a racist comment at the scene of a car accident …” The paper also reported that one member of the Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District board said that an apology isn’t enough–and that Hatfield should be removed from his positions as chief and chairman of the board.
Bullitt fire chief sorry for racist comment (Courier-Journal)