Los Angeles Fire Captain Under Investigation for Protesting City Employee Vaccine Mandate

By Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte
August 25, 2021 Updated: August 26, 2021

A Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) captain is under investigation after he spoke against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate while in uniform, the department said on Aug. 23.

Capt. Christian Granucci, a 31-year veteran of the LAFD, posted a video to the Telegram App this week calling the vaccination requirements for city employees “medical tyranny,” and said he would likely “catch total grief” from his department for the video. The video went viral online after journalist Jasmyne Cannick posted a clip of the video to Twitter.

“This is not a political issue, this is not left/right, this is not vax/unvax. This is a fight for freedom of choice, free will,” Granucci said in the video. “This is a fight against tyranny.”

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring city employees to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 7, unless an individual requests a medical or religious exemption.

Granucci, however, called the medical exemptions a “pie-in-the-sky,” and said there are “end runs” about religious exemptions.

Granucci criticized his union saying: “You had the opportunity to get in front of this and you didn’t. We want to give you the opportunity to do the right thing and represent the membership.

“I respected the administration of this department at one point, I even respected our union leadership, and now they are in lockstep with total tyranny.”

The department announced on Aug. 24 that its Professional Standards Division will investigate Granucci for speaking against the policy while appearing to be on duty in uniform.

“While we respect the individual’s right to his opinion, he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the Department. The individual is in uniform and appears to be on duty, thereby giving the impression that he is speaking in an official capacity,” An LAFD spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.

Granucci said there were hundreds of fellow firefighters who obtained a lawyer to help them fight the vaccination requirements.

“We have him on retainer, and we will seek legal counsel and we will take the fight to you, the city of Los Angeles,” Granucci said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department Union said in a statement that it doesn’t support the city’s mandatory vaccine policy.

“Similar to the debate taking place throughout our country over vaccinations, there is passionate discussion regarding this issue in our fire stations. The majority of our firefighters have voluntarily been vaccinated and more are choosing to do so each week. We continue to encourage our members to get vaccinated, but we do not support any city policies that make it a condition of employment,” Freddy Escobar, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112, said in a statement.

The LAFD spokesperson said the course of the investigation includes interviews and consultation with the City Attorney’s Office, and that Granucci currently remains on active duty.

The Los Angeles Fire Department Union and Granucci didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte