Former Detroit EMT claims racism, stalking in new lawsuit against Fire Department

Aggressive post led to stalking, says victim

DETROIT – A veteran emergency medical technician is suing the Detroit Fire Department after she said she lost her sense of safety following a complaint to her supervisors.

Kimberly Asaro said she was forced to leave her career after she complained to her supervisors about a co-worker's provocative Facebook post that made her feel unsafe. She said her supervisors didn't do anything to make her feel safe.

"There are days where I still fear leaving the house," Asaro said.

In the lawsuit filed by Asaro, she claims the post read, "White men, women and children should be raped and killed. White people should be used as alligator bait. Whites should be enslaved and beaten, like they had done to African-Americans."

Asaro said she complained because Willie Bragg wrote that he agreed with those statements, "100 percent."

The Detroit Fire Department said that Bragg's incendiary Facebook post was protected by the First Amendment, but told Bragg to stay away from Asaro. According to Asaro, Bragg would show up at her ambulance to intimidate her.

"When it turns into violence, when it turns into threats, when it turns into something that makes your co-workers unsafe, then your employer has an obligation to step in and do something." said James Rasor, Asaro's attorney in the lawsuit. "In this case, they didn't."

"I felt completely stalked and harassed at work." Asaro said. "It got to the point where I couldn't function at work."

Asaro said she's devastated by all of this, and that her bosses didn't back her up.

The lawsuit details comments about Asaro on her Facebook page that left her shaken. A Detroit police officer asked Asaro if she should arrest her for complaining. Another person posted, "Hit her with a scalpel," and Bragg allegedly responded with a laughing emoji.

"I'm very afraid," Asaro said. "I'm very, very aware of my surroundings at all times."

Her attorney said all she wanted was a safe workplace.

Bragg isn't named in the suit. He is still working and has not been punished.

You can watch Shawn Ley's full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.