Florida Noose Investigation Leads To Firefighter Being Fired, Resignations Of Three Others
In Pompano Beach, Florida, a noose was found hanging over a black recruit's seat at a training center.
August 10, 2017 at 10:00 pm
On June 7, a noose was found hanging over a black recruit's seat at a fire training center in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Having déjà vu?
That's because this isn't the first noose incident this year. Or the second. Or the third.
There was the incident in New York City, where a black delivery man was gifted a noose by a client.
And there was the noose placed in a tree in Philly; the noose left on the desk of a black U.S. Mint worker and of course, the noose that was put in a gallery at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Now, once again, the symbol of hatred and racism is haunting a black person in their place of work.
Vilbert Green was the victim in this recent case.
Pompano Beach Fire Chief John Jurgle told the Associated Press that on the last day of the recruit's training, Green briefly left the room. When he came back, there was a noose suspended above his chair.
Green, still green, wasn't sure what to do. He took a picture of the noose over his chair, and showed it to a senior firefighter. That firefighter also took offense to the act, and directly confronted the recruits who did it.
"They told him they knew nothing of it," Jurgle said.
It was later discovered that that was a lie.
The firefighter, not believing the recruits, reported the incident to the captain. The captain then informed Jurgle of the matter.
According to city officials, after an investigation, Matthew Reilly was fired for placing the noose on Green's chair. However, he did not act alone.
The investigation also found that recruits Kerop Berberian, Geandy Perez and Austin Sovay were also involved; they have resigned.
According to reports, Berberian, Sovay and Reilly are white and Perez is Hispanic.
Jurgle says that the four men told him the act was supposedly meant as a "joke."
But according to WKMG Orlando, Jurgle was not here for it.
"I heard the word 'joke' a lot and I said, 'Explain the joke to me, explain how this is funny,' "Jurgle said. "They haven't been able to do that."
Instead of owning up to what they had done, Savoy told the Sun Sentinel, "It wasn't a noose. It was a fishing knot."
“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, in an interview with Sun Sentinel, described Green's reaction to the noose
"He was not happy with what was done, but after taking the picture, he decided he didn't want to do anything with it," Jurgle said.
Jurgle stated that he is happy with how the investigation turned out, as he does not want his department to be affiliated with that kind of behavior.
"This is not our culture," he said.