Former Miami Fire Rescue captain fights to get job back after noose incident

Noose, obscene images placed over photos of lieutenant's family

MIAMI – Six Miami Fire Department employees were fired in September 2017 after a noose and obscene symbols were found on the desk of a black lieutenant at Station 12.

Now, one of those terminated staff members is trying to get his job back. 

This week's arbitration is between the city of Miami and lawyers for the firefighters union to determine if former Capt. William Bryson was rightfully terminated or if he could get his job back. 

Attorneys for the city of Miami said Bryson could and should have prevented his subordinates from creating a lewd and racist display on Lt. Robert Webster's desk.

"Lt. Webster -- an African-American male -- saw a noose put over a photograph of his children and his grandchildren," assistant city attorney Stephanie Panoff said.

Photos of male genitalia were also reportedly placed on a photograph of his wife.

The city fired six of Webster’s colleagues involved in the incident.

The arbitration, which is expected to last more than a day, will examine the role Bryson may have played in the incident and if there was just cause for his termination. The arbitrator will also hear Bryson's side of this story.

Cameras were only allowed in the arbitration hearing during opening statements, and only the city chose to give an opening statement. 

The people involved gave statements last year, claiming it was all a joke, but on Wednesday, Webster asserted that what happened to him simply was not funny. 

The arbitration will continue for at least another day before it's decided if Bryson can get his job back. 

About the Author:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.