For incomprehensible reasons, hate crimes like lynching and threatening to lynch people have seen a resurgence in recent years. The latest example? Six firefighters in Miami were just fired after allegedly placing a noose over the family photos of one of their black colleagues.
In September, Lt. Robert Webster of the City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue was shocked to find that family photos he had at his fire station were also defaced with “lewd and sexually explicit renderings,” according to Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, who called the incident a “hideous, distasteful act of hate.” Webster is a 17-year veteran of the department:
Zahralban said he personally responded to the incident after it was reported.
“Appalled by my observation, I immediately requested the Miami Police Department investigate the matter and temporarily transferred all personnel assigned to that station, per our department policy,” he said.
The investigation revealed that 11 members of the fire department had “some involvement with the incident,” and they were relieved of duty, Zahralban said.
Additionally, Zahralban found that a captain, a lieutenant, and four firefighters were “directly involved” and fired for “offenses surrounding egregious and hateful conduct.” The remaining five firefighters were placed on leave and could face termination, suspension, or demotion for their involvement.
Speaking with Local 10 ABC News, Webster said that this isn’t the first instance of racism that his colleagues have displayed against him. Webster said that they’d done “little things” to him for years, but this latest instance is clearly the most egregious. Webster called his colleague’s actions “stupid” and a violation of the “brotherhood” of the fire station.