Fire Captain Demoted For Trayvon Martin Facebook Post
A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue captain, whose Facebook comment about the Trayvon Martin shooting spurred an investigation, was demoted two ranks to firefighter Monday in a letter from the fire chief. Brian Beckmann, who posted the comment April 11, must also complete a Fit for Duty evaluation and diversity and/or sensitivity training, the letter from Fire Chief William Bryson said. Beckmann may appeal the decision within 14 days. Rowan Taylor, president of International Association of Firefighters Local 1403 wrote in an email statement that said he disagrees with the demotion. “As union President, I believe this discipline is excessive. We will immediately file an appeal to an independent arbitrator,” Taylor said. A copy of Beckmann’s initial Facebook post was in the Finding of Fact Report released by the department. Besides having disparaging words for the prosecutor, the post also said: “I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, (expletive), ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They’re just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug,” he posted. A disciplinary report said that the comment altered the reputation of the Fire Rescue department.