Racist hazing prompts criticism and action

July 14, 2008 2:52:56 PM PDT
Paramedics are still racing off to emergencies, but now under the watchful eye of supervisors who are gauging reaction to pictures showing a paramedic hazing of two college student dressed in white sheets. The photos depicting Klu Klux Klan dress is creating an uproar in a city where many of the emergencies take place in African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Community leaders are calling on the justice department to investigate.

Three paramedics were fired following the incident. The University of Medicine and Dentistry identified the fired paramedics as Timothy Prahm, Henry Solares and Thomas Hart.

The university issued a statement saying, "UMDNJ has never and will never tolerate attitudes and behaviors that discriminate against any individual or group. The actions taken by the individuals in this instance are appalling."

City leaders agree.

"The City of Newark will not tolerate such behavior by medical professionals, and we are glad that UMDNJ has moved to terminate these individuals," Newark Mayor Cory Booker said in a statement.

UMDNJ spokeswoman Terri Guess said students from Northeastern University in Boston were the trainees involved in the incident, which took place on July 6.