Union condemns actions of 6 Miami firefighters fired amid noose incident
City axes firefighters accused of leaving noose to intimidate black colleague
MIAMI – The city of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue issued termination letters to six firefighters Wednesday after they were accused of "sexually explicit and racially offensive conduct."
The Sept. 9 incident at Miami Fire Station No. 12, 1455 NW 46th St., targeted Lt. Robert Webster, who said he isn't ready to talk about what happened. Fred Delgado, the Miami International Association of Firefighters president, said in a statement the attack was disturbing.
"We expect all of our members to be provided a safe, comfortable workplace, and also to fair and complete investigations and just discipline when it's warranted," Delgado said.
Webster's six colleagues -- Capt. William Bryson, Lt. Alejandro Sese, David Rivera, Harold Santana, Justin Rumbaugh and Kevin Meizoso -- were accused of trying to intimidate Webster, who is black, with a hanging noose.
The firefighters were also accused of vandalizing Webster's family photos with sexual symbols.
Chief Joseph Zahralban didn't tolerate the reported behavior and asked police to investigate, City Manager Daniel Alfonso said. During the investigation, Alfonso said, the city suspended 11 firefighters with pay.
"An investigation continues into lesser involvement by others who were at the station," Alfonso said in a statement. "We cannot and will not tolerate behavior that is disrespectful, hurtful and compromises the integrity of the department."
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Zahralban plan to discuss the incident during a news conference Friday.
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