Robert Webster, who has been a firefighter for 17 years, walked into his room in Fire Station 12 to find a noose draped over his family photos, which had been defaced with sexually graphic images.
The vandals were the men he has put his life on the line with day after day, and six of them were fired for the offense Wednesday.
Webster's coworkers fashioned a noose out of twine and placed it on one of Webster’s (a black man) framed pictures.
The pictures themselves, some of which were of his wife, daughter and grandchildren, had pictures of male genitalia drawn on them in black marker.
"The noose was not the most disturbing thing to me," Webster told CBS Miami. "The most disturbing thing was what they did to my wife, my daughter and grandkids."
Normally, cities try to tamp down stories on stuff like this. Miami has kept this in the news for three days https://t.co/6qJVl6E5pu— David Smiley (@David Smiley)1509730862.0
The department comes down hard
Six firefighters were fired: William Bryson, David Rivera, Kevin Meizoso, Justin Rumbaugh, Alejandro Sese and Harold Santana.
Bryson, who was a captain, was terminated for engaging in “conduct unbecoming an officer when members under your direct supervision defaced several personal photos of a fellow firefighter with graphic and obscene renderings."
"We cannot and will not tolerate behavior that is disrespectful, hurtful and compromises the integrity of the department and the City of Miami," City Manager Daniel Alfonso said in a statement.
Miami Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Zahralban condemned the vandalism and apologized to Webster and his family.
Miami Fire Rescue Chief appalled by noose incident that led to firings of 6 firefighters. https://t.co/gsPB58yrjG https://t.co/M7dxIKJjio— WPEC CBS12 News (@WPEC CBS12 News)1509720299.0
Bryson’s father, former Miami Fire Chief William Bryson, was cited by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1992 for discriminating against black employees.
Now, his son has lost his job with the department for knowingly allowing the racist vandalism of Webster’s pictures, and then lying to investigators about it.
(H/T USA Today)