Florida Mural Shows First Black Female Firefighter With a White Face

In Summary

The Boynton Beach deputy fire-rescue chief, who is unmistakably Black, was shown as white in a mural created by the city.

Latosha Clemons, the Boynton Beach deputy fire-rescue chief who was depicted as white in a mural, filed a lawsuit against the city. 

The lawsuit against the City of Boynton Beach was filed in April. According to the lawsuit, a mural intended to honor her and others for their service to the city “reflected her as a White member of the city fire department.” 

“The City Commission will meet in a closed-door session to discuss the litigation. It is not a public meeting,” City Manager Lori LaVerriere to CNN

According to a second amended complaint filed Sept. 2, it states she aims “to redress the defamatory statement [the City of Boynton Beach] made regarding her race and/or its negligence in failing to properly oversee an approved use of the likeness of Clemons.” 

In the second complaint, Clemons is seeking $30,000. 

Clemons became Boynton Beach’s first Black female firefighter in 1996. She has served several different roles in a 26-year span with the city. 

“Come June 3, 2020, when the mural was unveiled, it did not reflect Clemons as the Black member of the city fire department,” the complaint read. “Instead, it was altered and reflected her as a White member of the city Fire Department. Being depicted as White was not only a false presentation of Clemons, it was also a depiction which completely disrespected all that [she] the first female Black firefighter for the city had accomplished.” 

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