Philadelphia Firefighter Union Critical of Paramedic’s Instagram But Would Defend Job

The city’s firefighters union has rebuked the actions of a paramedic who posted a photo on Instagram of two black men holding guns to a white police officer’s head, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

But if the paramedic, Marcell Salters, is fired, the union will appeal, an official said.

“The paramedic involved is sorry. He realizes it was inappropriate. He issued an apology,” said Joe Schulle, president of Fire Fighters Local 22.

It’s a perilous situation for the union: representing a paramedic whose views have angered many of its own members as well as countless others across the city and country.

Yet it’s not the first time the union has been in that sort of spot. In 2007, it defended a firefighter who in a rap song called police officers “pigs” and said he would turn them “into bacon bits.”

Salters, a paramedic at Field Medic Unit 23 on North 61st Street, posted the photo Tuesday along with the caption: “Our real enemy … need 2 stop pointing guns at each other & at the ones that’s legally killing innocents.”

The backlash was swift. Mayor Nutter called it “reprehensible” and said the post could provoke inappropriate actions from others.

Salters, who had not returned requests for comment, apologized on Facebook, saying he did not intend to hurt his “brothers in blue.”

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