Memo shows motive for noose & penis drawings on Miami lieutenant’s family photos

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The City of Miami released a memo that summarizes interviews with the six fired firefighters and, for the first time, provides a motive for their actions.

WFOR-TV:

In the internal memo, one of the firefighters said defacing photos was “an ongoing joke in the department.”

The internal memo released suggests Lt. Alejandro Sese and Capt. William Bryson lied when interviewed.

According to sworn testimony, Lt. Sese “initiated the topic” of defacing the photos and is said to have taken them from Lt. Webster’s room.

The motive, according to sworn testimony, was that some firefighters were upset about Lt. Webster leaving his personal photos out in the dorm room.

The memo says firefighters Kevin Meizoso, Justin Rumbough and Harold Santana drew on the photos.

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David Smiley & Elizabeth Koh, Miami Herald:

Interviews summarized in the memo described an open conversation about personal items being left out inside the station that prompted Sese to complain about Webster’s photos in their dorm room. According to the memo, Sese then retrieved the pictures and brought up the idea of defacing them. After Meizoso, Rumbaugh and Santana participated in drawing lewd images on the photos, Rivera returned them to their picture frames. Bryson was aware of the vandalism, according to the summarized interviews.

Every interviewee summarized in the memo denied any knowledge of the noose that was placed over the photos.

The Miami-Dade chapter of the NAACP praised the city manager’s actions in a letter Friday afternoon as “an important first step … to ensure that diversity is respected and recognized as an asset within the Fire Department and the Union.”

Attempts to reach Webster have been unsuccessful. But he told WPLG Thursday that it was “stupid,” but not racist.

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