One Florida firefighter recruit was fired and three others resigned after a noose was found hanging over a black firefighter’s seat in Pompano Beach, the Sun Sentinel reports:
An investigation into the noose, which was found at the Pompano Beach Fire Training Center, concluded Wednesday. Pompano Beach Fire Chief John Jurgle said he acted as soon as he heard last month about the racist symbol, which was directed at the only black recruit [Vilbert Green] in a class of six [and laid on top of his desk .] The noose was found June 7 on the recruits’ last day of training, he said.
“It’s a very serious, unfortunate incident that happened,” Jurgle said. “We’re professional firefighters. We’re not going to tolerate this kind of thing.”
Jurgle acknowledged that the noose “represents hatred” and “represents death to African Americans,” Florida television station WPLG Local 10 reports. Green tried to downplay how offended he was by the noose to protect his fellow recruits, the report says, though his peers couldn’t explain how it landed on his desk. Kerop Berberian, Austin Sovay and Geandy Perez resigned from the department, and Matthew Reilly was fired because of the noose and how they “responded” to the incident, Jurgle said.
This incident comes after several nooses have popped up at schools and Black cultural sites in Southern states including the National Museum of African American History & Culture.