A man in FDNY clothes seen taunting pro-abortion rights protesters outside a church, in a video that went viral this weekend on social media, isn't actually affiliated with the department in any way, officials said Monday.
The video depicts a man at the front of a group on the steps of Old St. Patrick's, squaring off with protesters who both support abortion rights and oppose the expected imminent reversal of Roe vs. Wade.
The man, wearing a jacket with various FDNY logos and an "America First" cap, appears to tell the women they do not have a choice in having children; he appears to tell one woman that her body is his and she will have his baby.
“A video circulating from a protest in Manhattan over the weekend shows an individual wearing a FDNY sweatshirt. The individual in the video is not a member of the FDNY. The comments made do not represent the views of the FDNY. The matter is under investigation," Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Frank Dwyer said in a statement.
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One version of the video, posted by activist and author Amy Siskind, had more than 1.7 million views on Twitter alone as of Monday morning. Another version was shared by far-right members of Congress like Rep. Paul Gosar and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who both called the man and his fellow counter-protesters "heroes".
The video stirred enough controversy that "FDNY" was a trending topic across the United States on Twitter Monday morning.