A parade in New York that took place over the Labor Day weekend in September of 1998 had a float that upset many upset. One of the floats in the parade had a group of whites mocking and re-enacting the dragging death of James Byrd Jr.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York ordered the city's Human Rights Commission to investigate.
By September 11, 1998, firefighters were suspended without pay for what Giuliani called a "disgusting display of racism." New York's Fire Commissioner said that Jonathan Walters and Robert Steiner admitted that they were a part of a group of white men who painted their faces and wore afro-style and dreadlock wigs. Giuliani said Walters and Steiner "will never return to the force."