Monday, May 23, 2022

Miami Asks Press to Stop Showing Pics of Firemen Fired for Hanging Noose over Black Colleague’s Photos

The six Miami firefighters fired for hanging a noose over family photos of a black colleague
The six Miami firefighters fired for hanging a noose over family photos of a black colleague (Miami Herald)

*After releasing the pictures of six firefighters fired for allegedly placing a noose over a black colleague’s family photos inside their fire station, the city of Miami is now demanding that the media stop showing their pictures, reports the Miami Herald.

Just after midnight Friday morning, an assistant city attorney wrote an email to several news outlets saying the photos were released accidentally, and requesting that they “cease and desist from further showing the firefighters pictures” in their coverage.

“As former first responders, their photos are confidential and exempt under Florida’s public disclosure law and should not have been released,” wrote Kevin R. Jones.

The email was sent to the Miami Herald, WFOR, WPLG and the Associated Press, among other media outlets.

Jones’ email came about eight hours after a Miami Fire Rescue spokesman released images from the Sept. 9 incident at Miami Fire Station 12, in which several firefighters are accused of taking an African American lieutenant’s family photos from inside a fire station, removing them from their picture frames and drawing penises on them. The pictures were reinserted in their frames and then placed back on a shelf, according to termination letters sent Wednesday.

As previously reported, a noose made of thin white rope was then hung over one of the photos.

A picture taken from Fire Station 12 on Sept. 9 after a group of firefighters vandalized a colleague’s family photos. Released by Miami Fire Rescue
A picture taken from Fire Station 12 on Sept. 9 after a group of firefighters vandalized a colleague’s family photos. Released by Miami Fire Rescue

Robert S. Webster, the African-American firefighter and 17-year department veteran whose photos were defaced, told WPLG in an interview that his “first reaction was basically disbelief.”

“I knew it wasn’t a joke because of the progression of little things that were taking place,” he said.

Firefighters William W. Bryson, Kevin Meizoso, David Rivera, Justin Rumbaugh, Harold Santana and Alejandro Sese were fired Wednesday, while another five employees remain under investigation and are subject to possible discipline.

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