Six Firefighters Fired After Placing Noose over Black Colleague’s Family Photo

A noose created from twine was placed around a family photo, and the men drew sexually explicit pictures on photos.

Six Miami firefighters were fired this week after allegedly placing a noose over a Black lieutenant’s family photo as well as drawing sexually graphic images on photos. Among the men terminated were a captain and a lieutenant.

The incident took place in September at the City of Miami Fire Station No. 12. According to the Miami Herald, five other people who were investigated in connection to the incident are still employed at the firehouse. A local ABC affiliate reported that 11 firefighters were suspended without pay.

The men who were dismissed have been identified as Capt. William W. Bryson, Lt. Alejandro Sese, Kevin Meizoso, David Rivera, Justin Rumbaugh and Harold Santan. Bryson is also the son of a former fire chief.

The man whose photos were defaced is Lt. Robert Webster, a 17-year veteran of The City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue.

At least one of the men made a twine noose and hung it around one of Webster’s personal photos. The termination letters state that the men also “defaced several personal photos of a fellow firefighter with graphic and obscene phallic renderings,” according to the Miami Herald. It was unclear who was responsible for the noose, the Miami Herald said.

Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said in a statement that the other officers may face further disciplinary action.

“It is the policy of the city of Miami to provide a workplace for all employees that is free from intimidation, threats or violent acts,” Alfonso said.

But the city’s fire department has not always been free from racism.

William “Shorty” Bryson, father of Capt. William Bryson, previously served as the head of the Miami fire union. During this time, “Shorty” Bryson kicked 62 Black firefighters out of the union after they voiced concerns that they were being passed for promotions due to their race. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1992 determined that Bryson had wrongfully discriminated against the firefighters. The EEOC also ordered they be allowed to rejoin the union and be compensated for benefits they lost during that time.

Bryson’s rocky past did not stop Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez from tapping him to serve as county fire chief in 2011.

The local ABC affiliate said that Webster considered his fellow colleague’s behavior “stupid.”

“I believe in the brotherhood that we throw around so much,” he said.

Webster told CBS Miami in a phone interview, “This is shocking to all of us that this behavior was condoned by so many.”

Despite the violent racial implications behind the symbol of the noose, Webster told CBS this was not the most unsettling part of the incident.

“The most disturbing thing was what they did to my wife, my daughter and grandkids,” he said.

But he also believes such hatred is not limited to the 11 men under investigation and that the incident extends beyond Webster himself.

“These are people who don’t know the boundaries of their own hatred. It tells me they’re looking at everyone [in the Black community] that way,” he said.

A press conference will take place Friday at City Hall to reveal more details about the ongoing investigation and consequences.

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  • Jemille Hardy

    The picture shows one black man as well as 5 others. Did the black man participate as well?

    • That’s was my question as well or was he the victim, if he wasn’t the victim I am so confused!

    • It’s the same as when black guys become police officers . They join in on the intimidation , the beatings , robbing suspected drug dealers , sex with prostitutes and cover up shootings . They too are afraid for their lives and their families so , they go along with it .

      • But I’m not certain that the guy is black . He is black in skin color but I’m not sure about his ethnicity.

        • I agree Terry, that some people of color like the feeling of power and try to oppress other POC when they are positions like these. It is an old and very sad story.

          The firefighter pictured above looks black to me as well, but he could certainly be a different ethnicity or nationality and there is no way of knowing based on his photo alone. Perhaps he is Latino, or maybe he isn’t even American. But if he is one of the creeps, then he needed to be held accountable too.

        • Of course he did. Did you read where his father fired 62 fire fighters when he was in charge because they said they were passed over for promotions because of race. Black people are capable of racism against their own kind. Plus it doesn’t matter what color or ethnicity he is. They are all assholes and should be fired. The world is not black and white.

    • I think 4 out of the 6 are with Latino descent. I find it hardly funny how Latinos try so hard to be accepted as White especially Black Latinos/Latinas. It’s so gut busting funny. Whiteness is an acceptable American social status, historically. Ask Whites with Italian and the Irish descent. Once considered the crum out of someone’s ass, they ran and beg Whites who’ve traditionally held “White” standards trying to convince them they are White.

      This firefighter situation is history repeating itself. Latinos are doing the same thing, trying to be accepted as White. My words for Latinos and other non White people trying to get that Whiteness label, stick around and you’ll soon find out you’re not on the team and if you are it’s temporary because you’re being used in someway or another.

      • “White” is certainly a category that changes depending on the decade or century. North Africans and people originating from the Middle East, regardless of skin color, are apparently now classified as white by the US Census. Who knows? Maybe in 100 years, YOU will be considered white (if you aren’t already). “White” is far from just a skin color, but also an economic status that many POC try to reach. Once they have accepted anti-blackness, they are well on their way.

      • You are smack dab on the situation! I’ve seen more YouTube postings of Latino officers being the biggest perpetrators of racist demeaning verbal and physical abuse on African Americans! They are not white! I am a mix of Europe, Africa and Native American. Some of these Latinos are darker than me but they call themselves White?! Nope! Don’t think so!!

      • “Latino” is not a race; there are Latinos of various races, many of whom are “White.”

        • Yeah you’re right, Latino isn’t a race. And there are many Latinos/Latinas who are White.

          But the cultural theme has been always to gravitate toward the label of White to receive the benefits of Whiteness even if you’re Afro Latino/Latina or Indigenous Latino/Latina. But to define White in this context within the United States, good White in eyes and minds of people is Nordic and/or Anglo Saxon origin.

          American society’s programming tells people the lighter you stand, the more right and pure you are. This is also applicable to African Americans and other non Whites. This is why Italians, Greeks and other darker color Whites to include White Latinos/Latinas push so hard to be apart of the meaning of White in this country. It’s held in such high esteem and everyone playing the game understands really what this means.

      • I don’t know what the hell you are talking about, but first of all most of those last names don’t sound Hispanic or Latino to me. Secondly most Latinos including myself are very proud of our culture, our tan skin, curly hair and big butts to pretend to be white. You should stop making assumptions on people you nothing about

        • Bull crap…I am a latino myself and find many of my own people trying to pretend they are white…specially those Cubans down there in Florida….im glad they got fired so this will serve as their wake up call…

  • Good that they were fired. They should be tagged with this incident so where ever they attempt to go they will be tagged like a felon.

  • Never a fire fighter, bit I’ve been a deployed soldier and a factory shiftworker – sometimes the jokes become impractical and a line need be drawn. The 6 crossed too many lines and are properly gone.

  • Of course he did. Did you read where his father fired 62 fire fighters when he was in charge because they said they were passed over for promotions because of race. Black people are capable of racism against their own kind

    • Actually the father who wouldn’t allow the black firefighters into the Union is white as is his son. The brown skinned firefighter shown above is Latino. His last name is Santana and yes, racism is strong within the Latino community and I have seen Afro-Latinos (brown skinned Latinos) side with the lighter skinned Latinos and white folks in racism in a way to be accepted, but best believe they are treated badly and discriminated against when there isn’t a black American around to put down. It’s insane and at this point in our evolution sad and tired that humans are so petty and small. We could be doing amazing things in the world but instead we resort to tying to destroy one another and the earth every chance we get. I’m glad they got fired also. That’s actually a HUGE step in America and sends a message. Maybe we can get to a better place one day?

    • Chuck–Hitler, Mussolini and Bosnia-Serbia other white serial killers HATED OTHER WHITE PEOPLE (akaTHEIR OWN KIND!) The Boston Strangler, Manson, Bundy, Richard Speck, Zodiac Killer, The Green River Killer, BTK, etc. Jeffrey Dahmer preferred to canibalize and eat dark meat. Black people couldn’t begin to match the slaughters of WHITE-ON-WHITE killing. Millions of whites were HATED AND KILLED BY OTHER WHITES in WWI, WWII, the CIVIL WAR!

      That’s what your own WHITE RACISM does to you. You can see five white faces and one Black face and you comment on him!! Like white racist KKKops who will let pass five white speeders going 70 mph [with drugs and wanted criminals in the car] in a school zone, but will stop and KKKill a Black male bicyclist with a missing taillight. That’s black-eyed AmeriKKKan racism.

  • They needed to be fired. If you were a person of color whose house was on fire, would you want the first responders to be people who regarded you less than human?

    • Maybe, maybe not. They’ll likely be hired in some small town somewhere. But, I am glad they were fired from this job in Miami.

  • I noticed the black man also. He could be a black Hispanic maybe… or something else.
    Different ethnicity? Still no excuse though. How sick and childish of them.

  • Having lived in Southern California, as an African American, I was shocked and dismayed by the racist attitudes of Latinos, especially AmeriKKKanized Mexicans. Their racism matched and exceeded that of white AmeriKKKans. They were collusive and complicit with racist whites in discriminating against Blacks, even though they were one suntan away from being blacker than most Blacks. I have Black relatives that are so light-skinned, it would make most Mexicans and Latinos look like Sambo.

    What else is disconcerting is that, despite the white racist fire chief’s past discriminatory record against Black firefighters, the EQUALLY RACIST LATINO appointed him to another position of authority.

    Latinos and East Indians know that they’ve been “touched by an African” and try so hard to cover up their DARK past by licking the ash of white people by expousing and regurgitating white racist viewpoints. The East Indian in LousyAnna, Jindal and Clarence ThomAss are prime examples of “darkies” with massive inferiority complexes trying to turn white by embracing white Republican racist politics.

    When I look at the two Latinos’ pictures, they could easily pass for my darker-skinned brothers. Like Uncle Ben Arson burning up Black lives, these Latino cocoNUTS should be hanging from trees. Like Hitler who sent his own white German people who were handicapped, homosexual, or radically opposed to Nazism, there are ALWAYS betrayers to their own people or race all around the world.

    • That has to be Rivera….most likely a Cuban follower from the Miami area…what a moron

  • Im glad their justice has been served…for that hispanic dude to get down so low like that and pairing himself with the ignorants bias white folks, he should be ashamed of himself…moron…got what you deserved

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