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Firefighter apologizes for ‘dumb joke’ about Charlottesville

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia firefighter says he was drunk and making a “dumb joke” about the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he posted a picture of himself holding a torch and wearing a Confederate flag hat on Facebook.

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Va.   Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.  (Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

John Deluisi tells WTXF-TV he uploaded the picture, which he captioned “Headed to VA,” in response to another post referencing the Charlottesville rally, where torch-carrying protesters decried the planned removal of a Confederate statue. Three people died amid the turmoil Saturday, including a 32-year-old woman who was part of a crowd of counter-protesters struck by a car.

The Philadelphia Fire Department says it is investigating Deluisi’s post and could take disciplinary action.

In Charlottesville, echoes of York City, circa 2002

Deluisi removed the picture. He apologized and said he is disappointed in himself.