Kenneth Walker is the only black volunteer firefighter in the North Tonawanda Fire Department. One day, he received a letter threatening that he should resign from the position, because he didn’t belong, or he would “regret it.” His house was later burned down, as well as all of his family’s belonging. Fortunately, none of them were injured.
WGRZ reports that Matthew Jurado, 39, who lived across the street from Walker, confessed to starting the fire to authorities and was charged with arson in the second degree. However, he didn’t admit to writing the racist, threatening letter which would likely otherwise be used to help specify a motive.
Jurado was reportedly recently removed from another volunteer fire department due to inadequate training, which could also point to a motive as to why he targeted Walker. He was arraigned on $50,000 bail and ordered to not have contact with anyone in Walker’s family (thankfully).
For some, this scene is taken straight out of a time 50 years in the past. But many have long been aware that these dangerous and blatant acts of racism are still present in many places.
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