Another fake noose/hate incident

posted at 6:20 pm on December 2, 2007 by Bryan

This one occurred in a Baltimore firehouse. Like the swastikas at GWU last month, it also turns out to have been a hoax to create victims where there were none.

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.

The perp:

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.

I imagine he’ll avoid the phone for some time to come.

At the time of the noose incident two weeks ago, city and fire officials characterized it as a possible hate crime. It was a proverbial big deal.

An FBI spokesman based in Baltimore said Wednesday that the bureau had opened a preliminary inquiry into possible civil rights violations stemming from the incident. She declined to comment further on the case.

Marvin L. “Doc” Cheatham, president of the NAACP’s Baltimore chapter, referred to the note as a threat and said it should be treated as such.

“It’s got to go federal,” Cheatham said.

Joseph Armstead, a former firefighter and current vice president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said a culture of racism has always existed in the city Fire Department.

“I’m not really shocked or surprised,” said Armstead, a firefighter for 16 years. “It’s just getting outward now. And we’re not going to tolerate that.”

Now it looks like a hate hoax. But it’s still fundamentally based on a racist attitude. Like the GWU incident, the perp gets a slap on the wrist, and there will be more of these hoaxes until those responsible for them have to pay a serious price.

Meanwhile, still no word on Columbia University’s noose incident.

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INCONCIEVABLE!

TheSitRep on December 2, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Here’s what I said at MichelleMalkin.com

Concerning the Baltimore Firefighter Cheaters Update..

The rope incident… prompted a federal investigation into possible civil rights violations.

The Feds step in, spend thousands to set up and investigate as they should. Then a fall guy steps forward to take the hit for the “team” and the voice of Rosanna Rosannadanna is heard saying “never mind“.

Zorro on December 2, 2007 at 6:28 PM

Unconscionable!

Free Constitution on December 2, 2007 at 6:30 PM

The funny thing is, this fake hate crime theme is played out so often that now in the very rare case that a real racist act is committed we assume it is just another faker. Ha ha

That kills me. ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

TheSitRep on December 2, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Rosanna Rosannadanna is heard saying “never mind“.

Zorro on December 2, 2007 at 6:28 PM

…which would be fine if the line weren’t more famously associated with (Miss) Emily Litella.

Captain Scarlet on December 2, 2007 at 6:45 PM

I’m just amazed that they took time off from calling white people bigots to actually report that it’s a hoax.

Buzzy on December 2, 2007 at 6:49 PM

Whenever I hear about incidents like this or post-9/11 Muslim hate crimes also found to be hoaxes, I can’t help but think of the play “Spinning Into Butter.” A small liberal arts college in New England (where else?) is all abuzz over hate letters directed at a student of color. A key line is delivered by one of the classically left-leaning profs trying to help the never-seen student victim. She’s all angst-ridden over how these incidents have forced her to examine her own perceptions of race and finally admit that (gasp) she “doesn’t like Maya Angelou…!” It’s like she’s afraid she’ll have to turn in her Birkenstocks and teaching certification or something.

Captain Scarlet on December 2, 2007 at 6:52 PM

too bad cause this take the spotlight over the much more prevalent cases of real racism such as in Jena.

crr6 on December 2, 2007 at 7:06 PM

INCONCIEVABLE!

TheSitRep on December 2, 2007 at 6:26 PM

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

/couldn’t resist :)

SilverStar830 on December 2, 2007 at 7:08 PM

TheSitRep on December 2, 2007 at 6:26 PM

And you can clearly not choose the noose closest to you!

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 7:13 PM

This incident sort of reminds me of the whole white power vs black power deal. If you are white, and proud, and proclaim it, you’re a bigot, a racist, lock him up and throw away the key! If you’re black, and proud, and proclaim it, you’re black and you’re proud, and you’re simply annoying.

This guy should be prosecuted for making a false report of a hate crime. If adjudicated as guilty, he should pay the same price as if he were a real suspect in a real hate crime, as if it had actually happened as he reported it and the suspect was apprehended and found guilty. He should be billed for all the manpower and equipment used to investigate the alleged crime as well.

SilverStar830 on December 2, 2007 at 7:14 PM

crr6 on December 2, 2007 at 7:06 PM

Right, I really felt sorry for that kid that got the crap beat of of him. Obviously racism at work there.

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 7:14 PM

SilverStar830 on December 2, 2007 at 7:14 PM

You and I may be on opposite sides of the taser talk but on this I’m in total agreement with you.

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Right, I really felt sorry for that kid that got the crap beat of of him. Obviously racism at work there.

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 7:14 PM

nobody thinks the kid should have been beat up. What shouldn’t have happened is kids getting charged with attempted murder for a schoolyeard fight. Or nooses being hung on a tree just because black people sat under it. Or kids getting charged with theft of a firearm for defending themselves. You’re either hopelessly misinformed or willfully ignorant. Read up on the issue.

crr6 on December 2, 2007 at 7:20 PM

crr6 on December 2, 2007 at 7:20 PM

You don’t think the kid who got beat up was picked because of his race?

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 7:23 PM

SilverStar830 on December 2, 2007 at 7:14 PM

I agree.

xplodeit on December 2, 2007 at 7:26 PM

Read up on the issue.
crr6 on December 2, 2007 at 7:20 PM

Here, you read.

Only one link, but it should get you started.

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 7:32 PM

There’s a “rash” of noose incidents in North Carolina, too. My favorite is the alleged toilet paper one. Yes, toilet paper!

SouthernGent on December 2, 2007 at 7:46 PM

It is not a hoax. It is a Sharpton-like (Jena 6, anybody) incident that tries to create incidents.

SIJ6141 on December 2, 2007 at 7:57 PM

Oldnuke, sorry but crr6 either won’t read it and even if he did would not comprehend/acknowledge.

SIJ6141 on December 2, 2007 at 8:12 PM

But…

Its still a hate crime!

Only now the perp is black and the victims are the white firefighters at the station which were victimized by this hoax.

Why isn’t the perp being flat out fired for committing a hate crime? I’m sure if this weren’t a hoax losing their job would be the least of the problems the guy who hung the rope would face…..

CrazyFool on December 2, 2007 at 8:39 PM

I just thought of a new term:
“Fake Noose Cowboy”

Yeah that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are some real Fake Noose Cowboys.

TheSitRep on December 2, 2007 at 8:49 PM

“I imagine he’ll avoid the phone for some time to come.”

HILARIOUS, Bryan!

D2Boston on December 2, 2007 at 8:50 PM

CrazyFool on December 2, 2007 at 8:39 PM

He’s suspended awaiting further action. He may be fired, maybe. But the article said he would not be charged with a crime. I am also wondering why he isn’t being charged with the same crime he was attempting to simulate. Same for the myriad other hoaxters who’ve made the news recently. Once the truth is out it just seems that everyone shrugs and says “Oh, well that’s Ok. They’re just trying to get attention.”

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 8:51 PM

Jacksonville had a case like this, until the victim didn’t do well on a lie detector test, and then it all kinda faded away

tlynch001 on December 2, 2007 at 8:57 PM

Excuses & spin:

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.

Until reporting fake hate crimes is criminalized, there is no incentive to stop this idiocy.

clghitis on December 2, 2007 at 9:00 PM

“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.”

That’s nothing. You should see what Daley gives the minorities here in Chicago.

There’s a “comunity group” that gets to review the test questions BEFORE THE TEST to OK them to be on the promotional exams.

LtE126 on December 2, 2007 at 9:01 PM

Only one link, but it should get you started.

Oldnuke on December 2, 2007 at 7:32 PM

Thank you Oldnuke, I read it and found it very informative.

4shoes on December 2, 2007 at 10:25 PM

If hanging a noose as “intimidation” is a crime, then the hanging of one to fake “intimidation” should be to. If one is a felony so should the other.

Tim Burton on December 2, 2007 at 11:06 PM

“Fake But Accurate” is alive and well.

Perpetrators of hoaxes like this should bear the full costs of the mobilization, investigation and demobilization of all the government groups involved. That would stop it right quick.

Dusty on December 2, 2007 at 11:35 PM

crr6 on December 2, 2007 at 7:20 PM

what do you call kicking someone when they are down and out??

Mojack420 on December 3, 2007 at 3:24 AM

Captain Scarlet on December 2, 2007 at 6:45 PM

You are correct! My mistake.

Zorro on December 3, 2007 at 7:02 AM

Golly, this whole thing is so overblown…why should we expect firemen to think raising a false alarm is a bad thing? Obviously, there can’t be any penalty for doing that.

Right?

James on December 3, 2007 at 9:29 AM

Following statement could apply in 99.9% of ALL cases!!

it also turns out to have been a hoax to create victims where there were none.

Genuine racial outrage over these rope-&-a-note deals doesnt exist. What a scam.

I would be less bored with this type of stuff if; one, it didnt always show up around an election/campaign season and two, if they would at least be original.

OSUBuciz1 on December 3, 2007 at 9:31 AM

How about we charge fake hate crime perpetrators with hate crimes? After all, they are attempting to cause injury to an entire race of people by showing them to be racist via an elaborate scheme.

Let’s get the 9th circuit to creatively set the precedent with a totally rad interpretation of hate crime statutes. Bribe them with time share packages to Club Hedonism.

Metro on December 3, 2007 at 10:22 AM

This is not an isolated incident. There are many others.

And for an even more inclusive listing here’s the source. Still digging through the site myself it’s pretty big. Don’t know much about it, just found it.

Oldnuke on December 3, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Columbia has the tapes, they admitted that. Now why don’t they release those tapes? Hmmmmm?

right2bright on December 3, 2007 at 10:59 AM

False Accusation is a growth industry, as has been pointed out, because there’s no substantial penalty.

At the very least, it should open you up to libel / slander charges, but most of the time the victims of the accusation aren’t in a position to spend a ton of money suing someone.

I’m pretty much the last person in the world to propose making new laws, especially when they may collide with the first amendment (however tangentially), but there has to be some kind of “wrongful prosecution” response available.

Merovign on December 3, 2007 at 3:41 PM