On-duty SF firefighter photographed wearing 'Let's Go Brandon' shirt, violated uniform policy

SF Fire says the firefighter violated the department's uniform policy and that they immediately took action.

BySuzanne Phan via KGO logo
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
On-duty SF firefighter photographed wearing 'Let's Go Brandon' shirt
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On-duty San Francisco firefighter photographed wearing 'Let's Go Brandon' shirt sparks reaction and SFFD takes disciplinary action.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A photograph of a San Francisco firefighter wearing a controversial "Let's Go Brandon" shirt on job is sparking a lot of reaction.

A passerby spotted the firefighter working with others on a hydrant by Noe and 18th in the Castro District and shared this message on Twitter, "Is this the new uniform of the SFFD?"

RELATED: Pilot under investigation for saying 'Let's go Brandon' during announcement, Southwest Airlines says

ABC7 News headed over to the fire station at Washington and Sansome Monday where fire crews were hard at work.

We asked people about the tweet.

"I don't like it. They shouldn't be wearing that shirt, especially, degrading our current president," said Moises Osorin of San Francisco.

The San Francisco Fire Department says the firefighter pictured wearing the controversial shirt does not reflect the department's views.

"I understand. I understand how people are upset about it," said Samantha Aguilar.

SEE ALSO: 'Let's Go Brandon': How a misheard chant became conservative code for insulting President Joe Biden

"Some people argue, freedom of speech. Freedom of speech. Well. They do have a point there but it is not the uniform, what the firemen wear," said Major.

The controversial "Let's Go Brandon" t-shirt... A way for some people to show their support for former President Donald Trump and/or show their dislike for President Joe Biden.

SF fire says the firefighter violated the department's uniform policy and that they immediately took action.

A spokesman says the department cannot talk about what disciplinary measures were taken because it's a personnel matter.

We heard from Danny Gracia and the San Francisco Firefighters Union Local 798.

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"I'm all for freedom of speech but it's a job, we have rules and regulations," said Gracia. "The fire department has a uniform policy. People are supposed to wear the correct t-shirts, uniform shirts, uniform pants, turnout coats etc... at all times while on duty."

"Many people may argue that what we wear is guaranteed by the freedom of speech. That's the case to a certain degree," says Stanford Constitutional Law Professor William Gould. Gould is the author of For Labor to Build Upon: Wars, Depression and Pandemic.

"If it's a matter that is concerned with public concern and not the workplace, it's protected by the constitution under the first amendment," said Professor Gould. "An employee it's a requirement that you simply wear that uniform and nothing else and that's uniformly applied that might be a factor that may weigh against protection for free speech."

Back to the streets of San Francisco.

We asked Manuel Major if there is a time and a place for freedom of speech.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

"Yes. But not on your job. Not when you are doing your job," said Major.