A Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman expressed “sincere regret” Thursday for any “implied insensitivity” related to costumes of Mexican men worn at a recent downtown fundraising event. The department will review the use of such costumes at future events, the spokesman said.
Links to photographs from the event were forwarded last week from the official Twitter account of LAFD Chief Brian Cummings. One photo shows the chief with three men in LAFD apparel wearing sombreros and exaggerated fake mustaches. After inquiries from The Times, the department apologized for the imagery and the chief deleted his “retweet” of the photograph.
“There is sincere regret if that photo implied insensitivity,” said Battalion Chief Armando Hogan, the LAFD’s spokesman. “It was in no way intended to be disrespectful to anyone.”
At the street festival, firefighters from stations across the city prepared food and, in some cases, dressed up in costume as part of an event contest. Themes for the competing booths included the movie Top Gun, the Hawaiian islands and the reality-television show Duck Dynasty.
“They were just being goofy. It’s not to pick on anybody,” said photographer Yvonne Griffin, who posted the shot and deleted it Thursday afternoon.