LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A firefighter is suing Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and says city leaders haven’t done enough to end racial discrimination within the department.
The firefighter claims he’s faced discrimination and harassment on the job because of his race for years. It’s led him to file a second lawsuit this time against the mayor and members of the fire department.
Lansing native Michael Lynn, Jr. says he wants to see change in the city’s fire department and for its leaders to better address racial issues when their employees come to them with concerns.
“I wanted you guys to fix the problems,” Lynn says. “But if you won’t address the issues and say that you actually have them, and start working towards fixing them, this is the only resolve there is.”
Lynn alleges in the lawsuit that he was harassed several times because of his race and filed complaints with his supervisors over the years. In return, the lawsuit claims the union president called Lynn a “trouble maker,” “racist” and told him he “wasn’t right in the head.”
This comes after a 2019 lawsuit Lynn filed against the city that also alleged racial discrimination after a banana was found on the windshield of Lynn’s fire truck.
He claims he was suspended without pay several times for speaking out.
City Attorney Jim Smiertka told 6 News that Lynn’s complaints were meritless. “We intend to vigorously defend this matter in Court. The Plaintiff’s claims do not appear to be new; we are currently defending a similar case previously filed by the Plaintiff in federal court.”
Even though the lawsuit named Schor and two other members of the fire department, Lynn says the problem is much bigger than those three.
“When you’re dealing with systemic racism, it can’t be just one person that allows this to happen,” he says. “There’s always gonna be a multitude of people that are involved; one hand washes the other, type of thing.”