MIAMI – A South Florida firefighter has been fired after anti-police comments he made in a group message following the fatal shooting of a police officer were posted to social media.
Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban said Friday that a Miami firefighter was responsible for the posts that were circulated following Monday's shooting of Det. Cesar Echaverry, a 29-year-old Miami-Dade police officer.
“We have confirmed that the firefighter in question authored a written statement using a social media platform that demonstrated a disregard for human life, demonstrated a violent and antagonistic stance towards civil servants and represented conduct unbecoming of a Miami firefighter,” Zahralban said in a statement.
The fire chief didn't identify the firefighter, but firefighter Kevin Newcomb confirmed in an email to the Miami Herald that he was the writer. He told the Herald that he wanted to apologize and said he regretted his words.
Newcomb said he made the statement in a private chat among friends, without explaining how it appeared on social media posts. “I did not intend to hurt anyone, let alone so many people,” Newcomb said. “First and foremost, I sincerely apologize to those closest to Officer Echevarry who have been made to feel more pain because of my words. I wish I could take them back. I wish them as much peace as possible and they deserve only kindness and support in this time.”
Echaverry was shot Monday night as he and other officers closed in on a suspect wanted for an earlier robbery in nearby Broward County. He died Wednesday.