BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – Boynton Beach’s first Black female firefighter plans to sue the city after her face was depicted as white on a mural.
Latosha Clemons, a retired Boynton Beach Deputy Fire Chief, will file suit against the city after the photo she submitted for a mural at Fire Station No. 1 was altered.
“This never should have happened,” Clemons said. “This has affected not only me, which is has tremendously, but the community that I serve and my family that lives in the city of Boynton Beach.”
Clemons had her face replaced with a white face, and it was the same story for a photo of former fire chief Glenn Joseph. She and Nicole Hunt Jackson, her attorney, want City Manager Lori LaVerriere held responsible.
“Our position is that she knew, or she should have known, what was going on in her city,” Jackson said.
The mural went up in June and came down a day later.
LaVerriere released a statement online that stated she was aware of the art project that was approved in November 2019.
“I want to apologize,” LaVerriere said in June. “This should have never happened … and subsequently had some modifications made to it that I was not aware of.”
She maintains she was not made aware of the changes. LaVerriere would then fire the city’s public arts manager and demote the fire chief.
“I think she let someone else take the heat for her lack of leadership,” Jackson said.
The mural was unveiled for a second time on Nov. 19 with Clemons’ photo unaltered in the front window of the station.
“Just to have that mural back up is great, but that damage has been done, and I have been terribly hurt by this,” Clemons said.
Clemons plans to sue the city for damages but would not offer details. 7News reached out to the city manager by email for a response, but so far, they have not replied.
All city offices were closed on Friday.
Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.