Miami Firefighters Fired After Noose Incident Deny Allegations

Firefighters lose jobs after noose reportedly hung over black colleague's family photos

The City of Miami Fire Rescue Department has fired six people over what officials have called "sexually explicit and racially offensive conduct" at a fire station following an investigation.

City manager Daniel Alfonso announced the firings in a statement Wednesday. The firefighters were fired after someone hung a noose over a black colleague's family photos, the Miami Herald reported.

Miami Police launched an investigation into the incident after Alfonso and Chief Joseph Zahralban were made aware of it on Sept. 9. Initially, some of the workers at the station were transferred to other stations, Alfonso said.

Alfonso said 11 workers were relieved of duty with pay before the six were terminated. The investigation is ongoing into lesser involvement by others who were at the station, and the findings could lead to suspensions or demotions, Alfonso said.

"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 in the statement. "We cannot and will not tolerate behavior that is disrespectful, hurtful and compromises the integrity of the department and the City of Miami."

Alfonso, Zahralban and Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado will hold a news conference Friday to discuss the firings.

A Miami Fire Rescue Department public information officer said the incident occurred at Miami Fire Station 12 located at 1455 NW 46 Street.

The fired firefighters were identified as Cpt. William Bryson, Lt. Alejandro Sese, Kevin Meizoso, Justin Rumbaugh, David Rivera and Harold Santana. The firefighters have denied the allegations.

Fred Delgado, from the Miami International Association of Firefighters, said that his organization has "not yet been provided with all the information that the city relied upon in making the decisions it did today."

“We expect all of our members to be provided a safe, comfortable workplace and also to have a fair and complete investigation and just discipline when it's warranted," Delgado said in a statement. "We are very disturbed by the allegations and look forward to the opportunity to review all the facts.”

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