Firefighter Resigns After Saying He’d Save a Dog Before a Black Person

In a Facebook post, an Ohio firefighter used a racial slur saying the lives of Blacks are less important than animals.

Tyler Roysdon / FACEBOOK

A volunteer firefighter in Ohio has resigned after racist statements he made on Facebook were exposed.

Tyler Roysdon, 20, was suspended without pay from the Franklin Township Fire Department on Sept. 12 for a post in which he said if given the choice between saving a dog or a Black man from a burning building, he would save the dog first because “one dog is more important than a million n**gers.”

Roysdon submitted his resignation Monday night, according to The Journal-News. Along with an indefinite suspension, he faced a disciplinary hearing by the Board of Trustees for his conduct, which was scheduled for Sept. 27.

“[Franklin Township] Fire Chief Steve Bishop immediately contacted the firefighter and directed the comments be removed,” Township Administrator Traci Stivers said in a statement last week.

Stivers said in an email to WHIO that she did not know how Bishop learned of Roysdon’s post, which has since been deleted. She also said she wasn’t aware of how long the post was online before the fire chief was informed of it.

As terminations require a vote by the trustees, Stivers said that Bishop took the most aggressive step he could take.

“Even if you take race out of it, it still would be wrong,” Trustees President Brian Morris told The Journal-News. “I’m disgusted in what he said. There is no reason for him to say that anytime, anywhere … That should never be said.

“I want people to realize this is only one man’s comment. We have a great group of men [firefighters] and disgusting comments from one individual does not represent the entire fire department.”

Franklin Township is a small, predominantly white town north of Cincinnati. Ironically, also last week, across the country in Chelan County, Wash., a county emergency management employee shared on the department’s official Facebook page an “All Lives Splatter” meme, which mimics “Black Lives Matter.” The image suggests one should run over protesters in the road.

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The posting was just weeks after the vehicular murder of Heather Heyer took place at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12. Roysdon’s racist sentiments reflect what Heyer was protesting against when she attended the rally.

“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what? You just magnified her,” Heyer’s mother Susan Bro said during a memorial service on Aug. 16.

As a volunteer firefighter, Roysdon was a part of a career field that has historically been majority white and male. His racist feelings toward Black people is what Kenneth Walker, the only Black firefighter with the Gratwick Hose Volunteer Fire Company in North Tonawanda, N.Y., had to endure.

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Town's Lone Black Firefighter Receives Racist Letter, Home Set Ablaze

Ken Walker and his family in the Buffalo, New York, area lost everything they owned in a fire set by their neighbor, a former firefighter, arrested for arson.

In August 2016, Walker received a racially charged and threatening letter. Two days later his apartment where he lived with his wife and two children was set on fire and destroyed. Police arrested Matthew Jurado, a white male, for the act of arson. He is a former firefighter who had undergone training with Walker and actually lived across the street.

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  • And then people wonder why we need to have a Black Lives Matter movement. Too many in this country think Black lives are worth less than White lives. Their minds are stuck in the past. Glad he was forced to resign. I hope they’ll follow through with other actions against him.

  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    Bigots like this post appalling remarks, assuming that everybody secretly agrees with them (starting at the top nowadays). All it takes is one acquaintance with a touch of decency and their vile attitudes will be revealed to the world.

  • It never ends. Roysdon is 20-years old & already proven to be a waste of air. Where does all his hate come from and why? I know he was allowed to resigned, but he should’ve been fired for cause which leave a more permanent “mark” on his employment record. We have to remain vigilant at all times because we are under attack from every which way. Just outrageous. BLM

  • Why wasn’t he fired? A firing would have permanently blemished his employment history wherein he would never be able to acquire employment involving the safety of people; that is unless another racist hired him.

  • And this is just one person who is voicing his hatred. It is frightening that people feel this way, and stay quiet. You don’t think these people are acting on their hatred?

  • In his next job as dogcatcher, he’ll get to live out his perverse preference.

  • Charity Dell

    When his house catches on fire, the Black firefighters who come to the rescue
    may think twice….and the dogs may leave him! “Whatever a man sows, that
    shall he also reap” the Good Book reminds us. Sometimes wicked people earn a
    literal “burning hell” here BEFORE they go to the Lake of Fire. There are no
    rescue squads in Gehenna.

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