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Miami’s fire chief on Thursday blasted six firefighters fired for drawing penises and draping a noose over a black colleague’s family photos, and released images of the “egregious and hateful” vandalism.
“On September 9th, 2017, a member with the City of Miami Fire Rescue was a victim of a hideous, distasteful act of hate in one of our fire stations. This Lieutenant of 17 years with the department, discovered his family photos were defaced with lewd and sexually explicit renderings and a noose draped over one of the photos,” Chief Joseph Zahralban said in a statement. “This was immediately reported to my staff and as a result, I personally responded to the station. 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.”
Zahralban released photos taken from the scene, which show three family photos that were taken out of their frames, defaced with pictures of penises, and then reinserted and placed back on what appears to be a desktop or shelf. A noose made of thin white rope was draped over one photo.
The six men were terminated Wednesday following an investigation after the photos were discovered inside Miami Fire Station No. 12 on Sept. 9.
The firefighters, which included a Captain and Lieutenant, were identified as William Bryson, Harold Santana, Alejandro Sese, Justin Rumbaugh, Kevin Meizoso and David Rivera.
Photos show a male sex organ drawn on multiple photographs, including one with the noose hung over the front.
The investigation will continue as the department will look into the participation of other members who may have been involved.