Miami firefighter under investigation after post reacting to slain Miami-Dade detective

A city of Miami firefighter is under investigation on Thursday over a social media post reacting to the murder of a Miami-Dade police officer.

MIAMI – A city of Miami firefighter is under investigation on Thursday over a public post on a WhatsApp group reacting to the murder of a Miami-Dade police officer.

Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban released a statement reporting the firefighter was relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

“As public safety professionals, police officers and firefighters depend on one another to ensure our mutual safety. It is the foundation of our working relationship and the source of our respect for one another,” Zahralban wrote.

Miami-Dade Detective Cesar “Echy” Echaverry, a five-year veteran who was a member of the department’s robbery intervention detail, was shot in the head while on duty on Monday night in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood.

Echaverry, who was engaged to be married, died on Wednesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. He was 29.

Amid the grief, the firefighter — who sources identified as Kevin Newcomb — decided to post a trail of opinions that outraged many.

Newcomb’s rant: “Who cares another dead cop probably against gun control ... Cops exist for the government to exercise its monopoly on violence. They want the whole world to stop when one of theirs goes down ... How many idiots I had to transport with honor guard their dead bodies from coronavirus because they were all too stupid to wear masks or get vaccinated ... All cops are for is protecting the rich property owners and the status quo. Everything else is a farce. [Expletive] the police.”

Zahralban said that was not in any way the view of the department.

“We continue to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in law enforcement, alongside the Echaverry family and the entire Miami-Dade Police Department during this difficult time,” Zahralban wrote.

The investigation comes just after a Miami police officer faced a probe over his alleged reaction to the “Officer Down!” alert after Echaverry was shot and police officers rushed to the scene.

“Okay. Let them know they’re going to have another officer down if they going at 70 mph near my car,” the officer said, according to a recording of radio dispatch.

The South Florida Police Benevolent Association released a statement saying the officer’s comment is not a reflection of the City of Miami Police Department’s reaction to the tragedy.

“If in fact it is determined that it is our officer, he will be held accountable for his actions. It is unsettling and disturbing listening to the lack of concern, compassion, and empathy,” a Miami Police Department spokesperson wrote.

The Miami Marlins baseball team dedicated a jersey with the number nine and Echaverry’s name. The Freedom Tower was bright blue in his honor. Flags were flown half-staff. The department was preparing for a procession to move his body to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Department on Friday.

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The community is mourning the loss of a Miami-Dade police detective who died Wednesday after being gravely wounded in a shootout with an armed robbery suspect Monday night, with multiple public tributes in place or planned.

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.