Possible Hate Crime May Have Been Staged

First Coast News (Jacksonville, Fla.), Mar. 1, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, FL—New information has surfaced in the investigation into a possible hate crime at a First Coast fire department. Last month, two African American firefighters said they found nooses placed on their firefighting equipment.

First Coast News has received a copy of a letter written by Isiah Rumlin, president of the Jacksonville branch of the NAACP. In the letter, Rumlin claims that last week a Jacksonville Fire Chief said, “He had a good source saying that the nooses were put there by the victims.” In the letter, Rumlin says he wants that chief investigated.

First Coast News contacted Jacksonville Fire Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office. Neither will comment on the case because it is still an ongoing criminal investigation.

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