Hempstead trustee calls to disband village's fire council following controversial Facebook post

A push has emerged to disband and replace leadership in the Village of Hempstead Fire District after a firefighter made a controversial Facebook post.
Hempstead Village Trustee Waylyn Hobbs says he wants to get rid of the village's fire council, and ask the village to appoint a new fire commission that will be composed of village residents only. This is so a review can be done regarding a volunteer firefighter who was suspended for posting a Facebook video that is being called insensitive.
News 12 first reported on the video posted last month by Gaetano Leone. It shows a hose squad violently blasting protesters to the ground with water, with a caption saying, "This is how we should deal with rioters."
Some have said the video evokes suppression of civil right protesters in the 1960s with high-pressure water hoses.
"To have such behavior and not have a structure in place to reprimand individuals and change the way things are done is not going to make things better for anyone," says state Sen. Kevin Thomas.
Leone is an employee within the village's Department of Public Works, and was suspended without pay for three weeks. Village officials say because Leone is also a volunteer firefighter, they want to appoint a fire commission to hear input from the community.
"Let's make sure that we have a governing body in our fire department that will be fair and equal," says Hobbs.
Assistant Fire Chief Chad Mott told News 12 he's always open to hearing the concerns of the village residents, and that he spoke to Hobbs Monday. He says he will attempt to address his concerns before doing away with the fire council.