Miami Firefighter Terminated For Social Media Comments

A Miami firefighter has been terminated for comments he made in a group chat relative to the murder of a Miami-Dade police officer. Kevin Newcomb, a nine-year veteran of the department, was fired one day after he posted the following comment about the death of Officer Cesar Echaverry:

  • Who cares? Another dead cop, probably against gun control. They didn’t give an [expletive] when kids were dying in that school shooting they stood outside. Cops exist for the government to exercise its monopoly on violence. They want the whole world to stop when one of theirs goes down. How many idiots I had to transport with honor guard their dead bodies from coronavirus because they all were too stupid to wear masks or get vaccinated? All cops are good for is protecting the rich property owners and the status quo. Everything else is a farce. [Expletive] the police.

Officer Echaverry was shot in the head by a robbery suspect, and died last Wednesday.  Newcomb’s remarks sparked outrage among law enforcement, firefighters and the public. Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban quickly issued a statement Thursday voicing support for law enforcement and stating the matter was under investigation. Alex Cardenas, president of Miami Firefighters IAFF Local 587 issued a similar statement.

The Miami Herald quoted from an apology Newcomb issued, stating:

  • I did not intend to hurt anyone, let alone so many people.
  • 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.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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