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Posted: 12/2/2007 2:34:49 PM EDT

Firehouse incident with noose was a hoax
Firefighter admits placing rope, note
By Justin Fenton | Sun reporter
December 2, 2007

A firefighter who reported finding a knotted rope and a threatening note with a drawing of a noose in an East Baltimore station house last month had placed the items there himself, city officials said yesterday.

The man was suspended last week for performance-related issues and will likely face additional punishment, fire officials said. Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Police Department and for Mayor Sheila Dixon, said the man admitted to the hoax and will not face criminal charges.

Officials identified the firefighter who they say acknowledged writing the note as Donald Maynard, a firefighter-paramedic apprentice who is black. Maynard could not be reached for comment.

The rope incident sparked outrage two weeks ago and prompted a federal investigation into possible civil rights violations. It was the latest in a series of incidents that have cast the Fire Department in a poor light over the past year, including the death of a recruit in a training exercise and accusations of racism.

The news of the hoax came a day after a report released by the city's inspector general found that the top performers on two recent Fire Department promotions exams likely cheated amid lapses in testing security.

A black firefighters group had called accusations of cheating racially motivated after union officials questioned the test scores. But the investigation found that five African-American firefighters had studied by using a 2001 exam, which is against test protocol.

On Nov. 21, a handwritten note and a rope were discovered about 1:30 a.m. by two Fire Department employees - one black and one white. It read, "We cant [sic] hang the cheaters but we can hang the failures. NO EMT-I, NO JOB." A small stick figure with a noose and the word "Stop" were drawn below the message.

The note appeared to refer to the cheating investigation and a push by top fire officials to compel emergency medical technicians to become certified as paramedics. Maynard was among those whose jobs were at risk.

In a written statement yesterday, Fire Chief William J. Goodwin Jr. said Maynard had admitted to "conducting a scheme meant to create the perception that members within our department were acting in a discriminatory and unprofessional manner."

"If the department upon investigation found Mr. Maynard's alleged claims to be factual, I would have acted swiftly and severely," said Goodwin, who said last month he would step down at the end of the year. "I will do the same thing regarding Mr. Maynard's unfortunate act of misconduct."

Kevin Cartwright, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said that Maynard's punishment had not been determined but that he could be fired.

Clifford, the spokesman for Dixon, said she was "pleased to find out that, in fact, there wasn't a threat of that nature made at the firehouse." He said the mayor is disappointed in the firefighter.

"It's a terrible thing to be worried that firefighters are treating each other that way, and it's good to know they're not," he said.

Yesterday, the leaders of the two city fire unions denounced Dixon, whose initial reaction to the reported incident was to deplore what she called "an act of hatred and intimidation."

Stephan G. Fugate, head of the city fire officers union, said Dixon's reaction contributed to racial tensions. He said members of the community became hostile toward firefighters after the mayor "came out and, in effect, said racism is running rampant."

Union leaders also criticized the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Vulcan Blazers, a group that represents black firefighters, saying they, too, provoked racial tension by rushing to judgment.

"To put it mildly, this time we're not going to let it go," said Fugate. "The reaction from the NAACP, the mayor and the Vulcan Blazers was sickening, and we're going to demand an apology."

But Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, president of the NAACP's Baltimore chapter, said the fact that such an incident could occur shows that pervasive racial problems persist in the department.

"It really saddens us to hear that evidently things have reached a stage that even an African-American does an injustice to himself and his own people as a result of a negative culture in that department," Cheatham said when asked to respond to the unions.
Henry Burris, president of the Vulcan Blazers, when informed that the incident was a hoax, said, "I'm extremely upset, as well as hurt. I believed the person who told me [that the incident was legitimate] was telling the truth."

Fugate said Maynard had been with the department for about six years. The union leader said that that is well beyond the time for an apprentice to have advanced to a more skilled classification.

Because most of the calls for service in the city are medical calls, the department now hires only paramedics who are trained to provide a higher level of care. Goodwin had said that those who had not gained their paramedic certification were "on the bubble" in regard to keeping their jobs.

The racial incident at the Herman Williams Jr. fire station at East 25th Street and Kirk Avenue was the second this year. In May, firefighters at the station came under scrutiny for an incident involving a deer head that had been decorated with an Afro wig and gold chains. Allegations of racism proved to be unfounded.

It has been a tumultuous year for the Fire Department. In February, recruit Racheal M. Wilson died in a training exercise that was found to have violated dozens of national safety hazards. The department was also the subject of an internal investigation for an off-the-books purchasing account that circumvented city requirements.

Racial issues have also simmered. In 2004, the department was pressed to revamp its testing and recruiting practices after criticism of an all-white recruit class.


www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/bal-te.ci.probe02dec02,0,5563956.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:35:32 PM EDT
tnd
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:39:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RSG:
But Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, president of the NAACP's Baltimore chapter, said the fact that such an incident could occur shows that pervasive racial problems persist in the department.



Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:45:16 PM EDT
That has to be one of the stupidest quotes I have heard from the NAACP that I have heard and that is saying something. The fire department is so racist that it has made the person who planted the stuff racist against himself?
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:49:02 PM EDT
His job is still safe, he's the right color.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:50:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RSG:
Firehouse incident with noose was a hoax
Firefighter admits placing rope, note
By Justin Fenton | Sun reporter
December 2, 2007

....

"It really saddens us to hear that evidently things have reached a stage that even an African-American does an injustice to himself and his own people as a result of a negative culture in that department," Cheatham said when asked to respond to the unions.





I... err... um....

That is pure 11 out of 10... but on what scale exactly, I'm just not sure.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:51:08 PM EDT
The spin in that quote in red takes avoiding personal responsibility to a new level. There ought to be an award for that.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:54:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 2:57:04 PM EDT
Like I mentioned in a thread earlier, every time you hear about shit like this it's a hoax, almost literally without exception.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:01:32 PM EDT
Why am I not surprised?

Am I becoming jaded to all this shit?

I'm thinking Tawala Brawly all over again.

Maybe the other fire fighters need to sue this ass for creating a "hostile work environment."
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:08:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:23:19 PM EDT
More from "Doc" Cheatham




11 Ways To Honor Dr. King On His Birthday - And All Year Long
by Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, Sr.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Give reverence to Martin Luther King, Jr. by sharing his contributions with at least one child. (you can visit a school and make a presentation or read books on Dr. King to the students prior to MLK Day)
2. Participate in some type of event celebrating the King Holiday such as parades, breakfast's, luncheon's etc. (Make it a family affair! Take an elderly or homebound relative or neighbor out to the festivities)

3. Either register to vote yourself and/or register at least one person to vote. (Start a drive in your community. Distribute flyers soliciting volunteers to drive those needing a ride)

4. Purchase only African-American newspapers on this day.

5. Have your clothes cleaned and/or shoes repaired at an African-American cleaners and/or shoe repair shop. (Shop owners can offer King Day discount coupons on services)

6. Eat either breakfast, lunch and/or dinner at an African-American restaurant. (Again, take others with you. Make it a family outing)

7. Purchase a book for yourself and for a child at an African-American store. (Dick Gregory's "Callus on My Soul" is a good one!)

8. Become a member of some entity that is helping others, e.g., Religious Establishment, Community Group, NAACP, Urban League, SCLC, LOC, etc. If you are a member of a community service organization, but haven't been active lately, make a commitment to become more active.

9. Celebrate Black History every month, especially the 19th of each month. Go to THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Online to learn more about this concept.

10. Sign and/or read the Black National Anthem, by Phi Beta Sigma man James Weldon Johnson, and commit to having it sung at every major public event.

11. Listen to Radio One, Inc. and all other African-American owned and operated radio stations.

Phi Beta Sigma's National Director of Social Action, Marvin L. 'Doc' Cheatham, Sr. has called upon all National Pan Hellenic Council, Inc. organizations (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority) to step up to the plate and spend the King Holiday registering voters across the nation.

www.black-collegian.com/african/mlk/kinghonor101.shtml


In other words, practice seperatism!
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:23:50 PM EDT
He should be prosecuted exactly the same as anyone else that does that kind of thing.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:33:55 PM EDT
Meanwhile, hate crimes increased 8 percent in 2006.

What a coincidence!
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:35:21 PM EDT
Wow the NAACP idiots showed their true colors.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 3:55:22 PM EDT
Sickitating isn't it!


Link Posted: 12/2/2007 4:53:29 PM EDT
Hate crimes will continue to be on the rise because we keep inventing new ones and turning existing crimes, that have nothing whatsoever to do with hate, into hate crimes. In another 20 years every crime against anyone but a white person will be a hate crime.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:10:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2007 5:11:34 PM EDT by ColonelHurtz]
I certainly be sickitated.

Welcome to the racist morass that is Bodymore.
He'll probably win a lawsuit against himself and the city.
Then his neighbors will strike a blow against The Man™ by torching a library.



Colonel Hurtz
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:14:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2007 5:14:52 PM EDT by SirSqueeboo]
Oh god not more mentioning of the black national anthem. This has gotten really old really fast.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:19:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
I certainly be sickitated.

Welcome to the racist morass that is Bodymore.
He'll probably win a lawsuit against himself and the city.
Then his neighbors will strike a blow against The Man™ by torching a library.



Colonel Hurtz


Well said, As long as they dont burn lexington market.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:21:57 PM EDT
A hoax? I am shocked, shocked I tell you.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:22:13 PM EDT
*
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:31:09 PM EDT

But Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, president of the NAACP's Baltimore chapter, said the fact that such an incident could occur shows that pervasive racial problems persist in the department.

"It really saddens us to hear that evidently things have reached a stage that even an African-American does an injustice to himself and his own people as a result of a negative culture in that department," Cheatham said when asked to respond to the unions.


This mentality foreshadows the beginning of the end of America.

Nobody wants to admit it, but America is sliding back into tribalism. By tribalism, I mean people identifying with the subculture of their choice (not necessarily by ethnic grounds), to the point of separatism within their nation, and to the exclusion of others. The most basic human desire is not sex, but the desire to be with people like oneself. MANDATORY READING ON TRIBES HERE

Thanks a lot, Doc Cheatham. Assholes like you are destroying our country.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:49:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SirSqueeboo:
Oh god not more mentioning of the black national anthem. This has gotten really old really fast.


The black national anthem? I have never heard of that before. Are they not a part of America? Why exactly do they need their own anthem?
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