A Burien man who was forced to retire after being fired from his job because he had two tattoos is hoping the community will provide him with a second chance.
The retired firefighter said he was forced out of his job in the summer of 2016, after getting two tattoos on his arm and torso.
The tattoos are a representation of his military service.
“I’ve always been a member of the military,” said Michael.
“I’ve done a lot of duty.”
He said he’s been in the military for almost four years, and when he retired from the Burien Fire Department, he had his two tattoos removed.
“The Burien police department is not the best organization in the world to be in,” said Mike.
“They didn’t have a uniform and they didn’t give you the right to keep your tattoos.”
“I felt like my time was up and I was done,” said he.
“And it didn’t seem like anyone would listen to me.”
Mike says he wants to use his tattoos to inspire the next generation of firefighters.
“They are just amazing things,” he said.
“You know they’re kind of beautiful, but I want to inspire people.
That’s the thing.
If you look at the tattoo artists out there and see what they are doing, I want people to look at that and say ‘I want to do that.'”
Mike said he wanted to have his tattoos removed, but he was told they would not be able to do it.
“We didn’t make the cuts to do this,” said Jim.
“We couldn’t do it.”
So Mike decided to do something about it.
He contacted Jim, who told him to take a photo and send it to his lawyer.
“So I put the photo on Facebook, I put it on Instagram, I send it over to my lawyer and I’m like ‘I’m going to do the tattoos,’,” said Jeff.
“And then they said ‘We can’t do this because we can’t prove you’re not a felon,'” said Michael.
“So, I was like ‘what are you going to tell the police?'” said Michael, adding that he had already received death threats.
“It’s not like they didn�t want to talk to me.
They just didn�te want to be rude,” said his lawyer, Jim Jeffery.
The Burine Police Department told CBC News that they did not find out that Michael was a felon until after he filed his lawsuit.
“All I can tell you is that we had no indication whatsoever that Mr. Michael was in any way involved in any criminal activity,” said Det.
Jeffery with the Burine police.
“That is the bottom line.”
The Burin Fire Department says they have not received any reports of misconduct from Michael, and Michael says he will continue to work for the Burin department.
“People have the right, the right not to be fired,” said Brian.
“But the people that do have to have a reason to fire somebody, they have to make that reason.”