Miami firefighter fired for anti-cop social media rant: 'Who cares another dead cop'

The post circulated as the Miami-Dade Police Department was mourning the loss of Detective Cesar Echaverry, who was shot in the head


By Charles Rabin
Miami Herald

MIAMI — A Miami firefighter was fired Friday after the department determined he was the author of a callous Instagram post about the shooting death of a Miami-Dade officer that outraged many officers and drew a formal complaint from the police union.

The Thursday post, which also criticized police officers in general, circulated in social media as the South Florida law enforcement community was mourning the loss of Cesar Echaverry, who was shot in the head during a shootout with an armed robbery suspect and died Wednesday evening.

Police escort the body of Miami-Dade Police Detective Cesar Echaverry from Jackson Memorial Hospital to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Department on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.
Police escort the body of Miami-Dade Police Detective Cesar Echaverry from Jackson Memorial Hospital to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Department on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. (Al Diaz)

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban said late Friday afternoon that firefighter Kevin Newcomb was responsible for the posts.

“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 prepared statement.

Newcomb is a 9-year veteran whose father is a retired captain in the fire department. He made news almost a decade ago when he learned he had passed a flawed test to become a firefighter in which the results were miscalculated. Newcomb was working in a South Miami-Dade pub at the time.

The Miami Herald had been unable to contact Newcomb by Friday afternoon.

The firefighter’s Instagram and Facebook pages appear to have been taken down. His rant, which was posted Thursday, made international headlines. Outlets in the United States and United Kingdom posted the anti-police rant with his name and image a day before the department confirmed it was him.

The post, which came just a day after Echaverry had been removed from life support, read in part:

“Who cares another dead cop probably against gun control. They didn’t give a f--- when kids were dying in that school shooting they stood outside,” the post read in part. “Cops exist for the government to exercise its monopoly on violence. They want the whole world to stop when one of theirs goes down.”

It went on to say that the firefighter had lost count of how many “idiots” he had to transport because they refused to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic and ends with the writer saying “f--- the police.”

Just before the news broke Friday of Newcomb’s firing, Alex Cardenas, president of Miami’s firefighter union said his department was fully supportive of police.

“As city of Miami firefighters we work alongside hard-working police officers every day to keep our city safe, and greatly respect their work and sacrifice,” Cardenas said.

The comments raised the ire of many officers, who shared it in group chats and on social media. On Thursday, Tommy Reyes, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, issued a statement, saying he had requested that the firefighter be removed from duty pending the investigation.

"These comments are disgusting and lead me to worry for the safety of our members, fearing that this firefighter may not assist one of our members the way he should,” Reyes said. “.... I want to remind our members that this person’s statement does not reflect the feelings of all of our fire department brothers and sisters.”

©2022 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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