The moonlighting Philadelphia firefighter whose rap lyrics about turning "pigs into bacon bits" enraged both the Police and Fire Departments has been suspended from his job and will likely be dismissed.
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said in a terse statement that the suspension of Rodney Jean-Jacques with intent to dismiss went into effect yesterday at 2:15 p.m.
"Commissioner Ayers deeply regrets that anyone was offended by the lyrics, especially our important 1st responder partners, members of the Philadelphia Police Department," the statement said. The department declined any further comment.
Jean-Jacques, a member of Engine Company 9 in Mount Airy and a four-year veteran, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The suspension followed a departmental investigation after the incendiary lyrics penned by Jean-Jacques, who raps under the name Cal Akbar, came to light last month.
In one of the pieces, Jean-Jacques, sings: "I got a surprise for them cops. I hope the news is taping this, 'cause I'm gonna turn those pigs into bacon bits." Gunfire can be heard in the background.
The Fraternal Order of Police called for an immediate apology and for Jean-Jacques to be fired.
His own union, Philadelphia Fire Fighters Union Local 22, called the matter a "disgrace."
Robert V. Eddis, president of Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, "First of all, I commend the fire commissioner for taking the action that he did.
"This is something where a simple apology could've gone a long way," Eddis said, adding that as a union officer he never wants to see anyone fired. "It's sad that it had to end this way."
Brian McBride, president of the firefighters union, said he had no comment.
In an earlier statement McBride said that it was "irresponsible and unconscionable to advocate harm to the very men and women who are prepared to do, and do, sacrifice themselves every day to protect our city."
The name Cal Akbar is drawn from two languages: Cal comes from caliber, and Akbar means great in Arabic, according to the Web site of Larsiny Records, which is the label for which Jean-Jacques records.
Jean-Jacques' suspension follows a departmental investigation into the matter that came to light April 10 on a police Internet bulletin board. Sources said he remained on the city payroll during the investigation.
But his moonlighting career hasn't always generated this amount of controversy.
In 2005, a song he wrote and performed called, "Take It Outside," became part of a national fire-safety campaign. It was also broadcast during a football game between the Eagles and the Cowboys.