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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.

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.

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

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