Firefighter reinstated after spitting on and hurling n-word at Black toddler
The child's family say they feared for their safety.
Terrence Jeremy Skeen, a 42-year-old, 15-year veteran of the Kansas City Fire Department, has regained his job as a first responder after being suspended for allegedly spitting on and hurling racist insults at a three-year-old Black child.
According to the Kansas City Star, Skeen’s attorney Tom Bath says the first responder was “suspended incorrectly” and will be pleading not guilty in his trial next month. The charges are battery, assault and disorderly conduct.
The Back Story
Racial slurs were thrown towards a three-year-old at a Hooters in Overland Park, KS (20 minutes outside of Kansas City, MO) by a first responder according to witnesses. The witness said they were flabbergasted when an off-duty firefighter told police he was a first responder.
“He basically said get that little ‘blank’ up off the floor,” the witness explained. “The N-word started to get thrown around.”
The witness was shocked and left speechless. The incident happened at 8:15 pm and the witness said they were approximately five feet away. He said he saw the child had wandered away from family members.
When one of them went to get the child, the firefighter used the racial slur and spat on the child. Police were called and when the witness found out the man was a first responder he was stunned.
Disturbing New Details
Once the child’s shocked family gathered themselves, they say they were even more surprised when the Hooters manager kicked them out instead of Skeen. The child’s grandfather, Raymond L. Harris, says that Skeen threatened him when he asked if Skeen had spat on his grandson.
“F— you, you (N-word). I will spit on you. F— you! I will shoot you!,” said Skeen, according to Harris.
The child’s family fled to the parking lot, prepared to leave out of potential gun shot range of Skeen when they were informed that the police had been called. This added another layer of fear to the Black family.
“Because of stories you hear about the police shooting Black people,” Harris told the Kansas City Star.
The Hooters manager was suspended after the incident.