Jerrod Jones, a Black firefighter in Rochester, New York claims he was forced to go to a racist party by his supervisor, while on the clock. Jones was shocked when he entered the “Liberal Smashing, Splish Splash Pool Party.”
He immediately noticed a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump at the door, Juneteenth flags displayed next to buckets of chicken, and small gift bags containing Hennesey and a Juneteenth commemorative cup.
He even claims that he tried to report the incident to his officers above him and nothing was done about it. The prominent NYC couple responsible for throwing the party insist they’re not racists and had no idea how these things could be offensive.
Jones is now suing the city of Rochester and the Rochester Fire Department for $4.4 million.
Could this party have been one big misunderstanding? Or is this a clearly racist act that was ignored by the Rochester Fire Department? The Shade Room investigates…
Black Fireman Suing After Being Forced To Attend Racist-Themed Party While On The Clock
On July 7, 2022, Jones said he was on-duty with four other firefighters, including his white supervisor Captain Krywy, who told them they would be stopping off at a party.
Jones didn’t think much of it until they got to the party, when he realized he was at the home of wealthy NYC dentist Dr. Nicholas Nicosia. He said there were only white people in attendance, making him the only Black person there.
Jones, still dressed in his firefighter uniform, tells TSR Investigates’ Justin Carter that he was instantly uncomfortable.
The cardboard cutout of Trump and Juneteenth flags festooned around buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken were prominently displayed, according to Jones’ lawsuit against his employer.
His supervisor reportedly told firmly told him “no pictures” after handing him a gift bag containing Cognac, an alcoholic beverage and racist trope commonly used to demean Black Americans, and a Juneteenth commemorative cup, in mockery of the holiday that celebrates the day when enslaved African Americans learned of their emancipation on June 19, 1865.
“I decided to speak up today because I have two children that maybe one day will aspire to become firefighters, and I don’t want them to experience what I experienced. I wouldn’t want your kids to have to experience that (either)” Jones said.
Jones added that there were also lawn signs with photos of Democratic lawmakers, and even a woman dancing provocatively while dressed up as a female county legislator.
Black Firefighter Told Battalion Chief About Racist, Inappropriate Party, But Nothing Was Done
His attorney, Nate McMurray, said that Jones later went to his battalion chief about it, but nothing was done.
“When Mr. Jones went to his commanders and he said ‘this is terrible, can you address this? Can we handle this?’ They assigned him to work with that same captain the next shift!” Jones’ attorney said at a press conference this week.
Meanwhile, the Nicosia’s, in an effort to clear their name, held a press conference with their attorney on August 23. They presented photos from the party, however the pictures were recreations and not taken at the actual event.
The Nicosia’s called themselves victims of “cancel culture.’
“I am not a racist. I grew up in East Cleveland, it’s a very diverse community,” said the dentist’s wife, Mary Znidarsic-Nicosia, who claims to have been the one behind the party’s inception. “And I doubt you could find anyone in that community that could say that I am (racist).”
However, in the same breathe, Mrs. Znidarsic-Nicosia made mention of a Twitter “parody” account that she operated.
Wife Of Prominent Rochester Dentist Had Racist “Parody” Twitter Account, Newspaper Finds
The Rochester City Newspaper dug up that account with its handle being “@HoHoHomeboyROC,” and it’s profile picture containing that of a smiling Black person.
“What dem council folks been eating? Lawdy. Look at dem. Days big as barns… even dat hand lady” one tweet from June 2022 read.
The Twitter account also shared racist memes, including one of a group of tribal African women holding buckets of KFC.
Znidarsic-Nicosia went on to apologize to African Americans for the “parody” account, of which her attorney Corey Hogan said was “no question that it was racist.”
“There is no question that Twitter account is racist,” said attorney Corey Hogan.
Couple’s Attorney Attempts To Explain Away Racist Themes At Party
But the couple’s attorney also tried to explain away some of the other issues at hand, namely the party attended by Jones.
Hogan said that the Nicosia’s like KFC, which is why they served it at the event.
“Is every person who pulls in to a KFC a racist?” Hogan went on to say.
He also claims that the Nicosia’s didn’t know that giving out little bottles of cognac was offensive, either, saying “a small bottle was handed out as a prize, no racism” when asked about it.
Tearful Dr. Nicosia Says His Family Has Become Victims Of “Car Honking, Obscenities” Following Racist-Themed Party Blunder
In fact, a tearful Dr. Nicosia even said his family have become victims after people started “driving past our home, honking their horns and shouting obscenities.”
“There were people driving past our home, honking their horns and shouting obscenities,” a tearful Dr. Nicholas Nicosia said. “Even when our children were just taking out the garbage. We are not racist. You find anyone who knows us, you wouldn’t find it (racism).”
The Nicosia’s said that they have been removed from a number of boards and many of their patients and employees have since abandoned them from their dental office.
Jerrod Jones and his attorneys have since filed a lawsuit totaling in the amount of over $4 million against the City of Rochester and the Rochester Fire Department, citing emotional distress.
Meanwhile, Jones’ supervisor Captain Krywy, was initially suspended pending a city investigation, but eventually retired before those proceedings began.
TSR Investigates explores cold cases and special interest news stories underrepresented in mainstream media.