Posted on December 19, 2014

Photo Posted to Paramedic’s Instagram Account Prompts Outrage

Todd Quinones, CBS Philadelphia, December 18, 2014

Some city officials are upset over a photo posted to Instagram by a West Philadelphia paramedic, showing two black men pointing a gun at a police officer and describing police as “the enemy.”

The post, which has people upset within the Philadelphia Police Department, states “Our real enemy . . . need 2 stop pointing guns at each other & at the ones that’s legally killing innocents.”

Thursday night, fire commissioner Derrick Sawyer said he personally apologized to police commissioner Charles Ramsey and the head of the FOP John McNesby:

“I thought it was disgusting. I think that we have a great working relationship with the police in our city and I think we want to keep that and a lot of our members have family members that are police officers also, so it was in poor taste.”


Outrage over the posting reached City Hall with Mayor Michael Nutter releasing the following statement:

In the strongest possible terms, I condemn the behavior of a paramedic in the Philadelphia Fire Department who used social media to post a reprehensible message and photo that targeted police officers particularly at a time of emotional volatility and citizen protests in our nation in the wake of tragedies in Ferguson and New York City.

We Philadelphians expect our public servants to uphold the highest standards of behavior as they conduct the city’s business. City employees must always be mindful, whether on or off duty, that their behavior should not negatively reflect on our City or raise questions that may diminish citizen confidence because a city employee might be unable to carry out their duties as a result of his or her actions, expressions or behavior either directly or on social media.


The still picture posted is taken from a music video called “Hands Up” by two Brooklyn rappers voicing their frustrations over the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.


The paramedic has since taken the photo down and responded on Facebook saying that he deeply apologizes and that he did not mean to hurt his brothers in blue or offend anyone.

It is not known at this time if the paramedic will be disciplined.