MIAMI (WSVN) - A City of Miami Fire Rescue firefighter has come forward and is speaking out hours after the department confirmed he was fired for writing controversial comments in a text thread about law enforcement officers following the passing of Miami-Dade Police Officer Cesar Echaverry.
Kevin Newcomb was terminated on Friday after he wrote the following profanity-laced remarks in a group chat:
“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.”
7News reached out to Newcomb for comment. Friday evening, he responded with a lengthy statement.
It reads in part, “I am writing this to apologize for the statements that have been circulating that I made earlier this week with some friends in a private chat.”
Newcomb went on to write, “I sincerely apologize to those closest to officer Echaverry who have been made to feel more pain because of my words. I wish I could take them back.”
Newcomb’s comments came after another controversial statement heard on police radio by a City of Miami Police officer in the wake of the Liberty City shooting that claimed Echaverry’s life.
The officer, commenting on other fast-driving officers rushing to the scene of the shooting, was heard saying, “Let ‘em know they’re gonna have another officer down if they keep going at 70 miles an hour near my car.”
The law enforcer was promptly put in his place by a supervisor.
“Let’s try and use a little bit more tact and not hang anybody up. If they have an officer down, they’re gonna pass you at 80 miles an hour next time,” said the supervisor.
A spokesperson for Miami Police said the department is investigating.
In a statement, Miami Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Zahralban confirmed Newcomb’s termination, effective Friday.
Zahralban wrote, “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 is referring to remarks written in a group chat in response to Echaverry’s death several days after he was shot multiple times in a shootout with an armed robbery suspect in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. The 29-year-old succumbed to his injuries Wednesday night.
The group chat remarks are as follows:
Miami Fire Rescue officials said on Thursday that the firefighter in question had been relieved of duty.
In Friday’s statement, Zahralban wrote, “These characteristics make it impossible for this individual to carry out his duties as a first responder in the City of Miami.”
Newcomb concluded his statement by writing, “I hope that my actions do not continue to distract from the mourning of Officer Echaverry, who did not deserve any of this.”
Newcomb also apologized to the Miami and Miami-Dade police departments.
Local law enforcement and others in the community paid their respects to Echaverry on Friday morning as a procession transported his body from Jackson Memorial Hospital to the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office.
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