2003-01-04 / Community

‘Broad Channel Three’ Trial Slated

‘Broad Channel Three’ Trial Slated

The suit brought by three Broad Channel men against New York City and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani rising out of their firing after the 1998 Labor Day Parade will finally come to trial next week in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The three men, two firefighters and a police officer, lost their jobs after Channel Two News showed videos of them in blackface, riding on a float entitled "Black To The Future."

The three have sued the city for violating their right to free speech.

"You can’t fire somebody simply in retaliation for the content of their speech," says Christopher Dunn, an attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, which is defending at least one of the three men. "It is our contention, however, that is exactly why he was fired."

Giuliani, who is expected to be called as a witness, filed a deposition, which was released to the press by the civil liberties union.

In that deposition, the former mayor reportedly said, "My opinion as the mayor of the city was that police officers and firefighters engaging in this kind of conduct disgrace the uniform and make it impossible for them in the future to function in a fair and impartial way."

A spokesperson for the city told The Wave that he was "very confident that the city would prevail."

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