Miami Beach Fire Dept. Employee Threatened, Called "Stupid N***er" After Exposing Abuse

Categories: News

brian_gentles_fire_class.jpg
Brian Gentles says he has suffered racial abuse and threats ever since becoming a Miami Beach Fire cadet.
This morning, Miami Beach commissioners will recognize Digna Abello as the first female firefighter to rise to the rank of division chief. Normally, her promotion would be a milestone for a force with a history of discrimination against women and minorities. Moments before Abello is honored, however, commissioners will hear how a black fire department employee has been racially harassed and threatened ever since filing a complaint against the city.

Brian Gentles, who until last month was a fire inspector for the city, says he has received dozens of threatening phone calls from people he suspects are firefighters. In one call, embedded below, someone pretending to be a Chase bank employee calls him a "n***er," threatens him with a weed whacker, and tells him "you better start running if I were you."

"I have been dealing with this foolishness since 2011," Gentles says. "So far the city hasn't taken it seriously."

See also: Miami Beach Fire Dept. Recruit Claims He Was Tea-Bagged, Racially Abused, And Fired For Complaining

A Miami Beach spokeswoman says the city has done its best to investigate Gentles' claims. "We do not condone racial harassment or harassment of any kind," Nannette Rodriguez says. "When the allegations were brought to our attention, an investigation was opened with our police department."

Gentles is no stranger to racial abuse. As New Times reported in October 2012, Gentles says he suffered constant harassment as soon as he joined Miami Beach's firefighter training program in 2011. He was the only black man in the 14-member class. Other recruits made racist jokes, Gentles says. Even his training lieutenant once handed him a Burger King application and said, "Go and be with your people."

Another recruit repeatedly called him a "nigger," Gentles claims. One day when Gentles was sleeping, the recruit put his testicles on Gentles' forehead and asked, "Why don't you lick them?"

Gentles kept quiet about the abuse for months. When he finally reported the tea-bagging and name-calling, Gentles says, superiors told him not to "snitch." Then, in February 2012, he was suddenly dismissed without explanation.

Gentles filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The city hired an investigator to look into the claims but closed the probe when other firefighters denied the accusations. Nonetheless, Miami Beach agreed to pay Gentles $100,000 and provide him with a temporary job as a fire inspector.

When that temporary job ended last month and Gentles was not rehired, he decided to come forward with evidence of the abuse he has been suffering ever since first crying foul.

See also: Miami Beach Fire Department Is Aflame With Corruption and Abuse

Gentles says the phone calls began last summer. At first, callers claiming to be from USA Mobile Drug Testing asked Gentles to meet them in various places for what they said were random drug tests required of city employees.

USA Mobile Drug Testing is a real company. The only problem: It has no contract with the City of Miami Beach.

When Gentles refused, the callers demanded to know where he was. Gentles took that as a threat.

The calls took a turn for the worse in July 2013, when someone -- Gentles suspects a group of five firefighters -- called pretending to be from "Chase financial services." What starts out as a prank phone call quickly ends up with the man calling Gentles a "n***er," threatening him with a weed whacker, and telling him "you better start running if I were you."

Listen for yourself.

Here is a partial transcription of the threatening phone call, beginning around the 1:50 mark. Tired of the relentless, racist phone calls, Gentles initially pretends to be his "brother" Billy and can be heard taking a defiant tone.

Caller: Hello, Billy, you dumb bitch. Are you black or white? Are you a bitch?
Gentles: You suck.
You're a quiet bitch, if you ask me.
It sounds like you're black now, so we treat black people a little differently than we do whites You guys treat them a lot nicer?
Nigger.
...
What do black people get? Do we get some Kool-Aid and watermelon?
No, no, no. You guys are very tough people. You know. So we definitely handle you guys a little differently. We beat you guys with a very long spoon. Hehe. That's how we do it here with Chase financial services.
You give us a long spoon? But I don't think I want it if it doesn't have any watermelon or Kool-Aid.
You are beneath me. You are beneath me. I'm white, OK?
You got some watermelon or Kool-Aid or fried chicken?
Excuse me?
You got some watermelon or fried chicken or Kool-Aid?
We here at Chase financial services pride ourselves on taking care of our white customers only. You've just identified yourself as a nigger.
Yes. I am. I am. How'd you know I was a nigger?
I see in your file... you better start running if I were you. Because here at Chase financial services, we still enact the code of Hammurabi, an eye for an eye, a nigger for a nigger [laughter, then something inaudible]. It's all the KKK influence. It plays a very important role in how we handle you people.
Oh really. How do you handle us? If you're not going to give me Kool-Aid or watermelon or that kind of stuff, I don't know. I don't think I want to be your friend.
...Please try to answer the phone. Don't change your phone number. Because what we usually do is I call you from time to time. Just answer your phone and everything will go smooth, just like you're doing now.
Sounds good.
The minute you stop answering your phone, then we have a problem, Mr. Gentiles [sic].
What's going to happen?
[Caller then says he is "The Joker" and briefly puts "Batman" on the line.]
Joker: If he doesn't answer the phone [inaudible]... Sorry to have some [nasty?] friends close to you pull out the weed whacker every once in a while [makes sound of weed wacker].
...
Why are you still on the phone, you bitch?
Tell me more about why I'm a nigger.
...
Batman: Are you there? Are you there, you stupid nigger. [What are you on] the fucking for?
...
Where do I work?
I don't know where you work. All I know is you're a fucking nigger. You listen to me very carefully. [inaudible threat]
...
You're a dumb motherfucker, you know that?

My Voice Nation Help
52 comments
Calling_you_out
Calling_you_out

Aspiring firefighter: Hey adonis Garcia thank you for meeting with me on such short notice, I really want to work for the beach but I have some issues.

Union President  Adonis Garcia: What are those issues

Aspiring firefighter: Well I have a couple of DUI’S , I beat the shit out of my wife and side women all the time, I pull guns on people I don’t like, and I like to put my dick on negro firefighters..I am a closet homosexual.

Union President Adonis Garcia: As the president of the union I will protect you if you do any of those things. I do not protect negros. Besides when I was married I would beat the shit out of my wife, and pull guns on people all the time. As far as the race game goes I am all for it.

Aspiring firefighter: But what if one of the negro firefighters get mad about me putting my dick on him.

Union President Adonis Garcia: We will fucking fire him on the spot, and the citys legal department will fight him all the way. I am fucking untouchable.

Aspiring firefighter: What if he tells the media

Union President Adonis Garcia: I run the media down here, besides to fix our image we can just fly out to hati and take a couple of pictures with some black babies , or donate money when a black firefighter gets hurt. I have very deep pockets. Coverups and fucking someone over is not very hard to do, especially when our legal department fights for us ,even if we are guilty. If you are felon, have a drug problem , like to beat your wife, like to pull guns on people , like fighting off duty, then by all means the city of Miami beach fire department is the place you want to work. We do not like people with clean records, as a matter of fact we fire those people regularly .

Union President Adonis Garcia: Here is my record and a buddy of mine that is now a captain.

 <a href="http://s1240.photobucket.com/user/callingyouout5/media/Adonis-L-Garcia_mugshot400x800_zps0af9e011.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg481/callingyouout5/Adonis-L-Garcia_mugshot400x800_zps0af9e011.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo Adonis-L-Garcia_mugshot400x800_zps0af9e011.jpg"/></a>

Mugshots.com ID: 1719249

Birth date: 3/28/1966

Gender: Male

Race: White

Arrest Date: 2/11/2005

CAD #: MCSO05CAD014848

Arrest #: MCSO05ARR000935

Offense: MCSO05OFF001371

Home Address: Not Available

Employment: N/A

Location: HIGH POINT RD PLANTATION KEY, 53

Arresting Agency: D617 - MCSO\CORRECTIONS

Bond Set Amount: $1500

Charges:

Statute

Description

Felony

ASSLT - ON OFFICER OR FIREFIGHTER

Captain Douglas Mulshine:

26

07/05/1996

TRIAL PROS. ASSIGNED: DENARO, DAWN

25

07/03/1996

CLOSING JUDGE BLAKE, STANFORD

24

07/03/1996

00002 M/ 806.13(1)(B)1 CRIM MIS/0-200 NG J DISP/DEF PROSECUTION PGM -MODIFIED/REMOVED

23

07/03/1996

00001 F/ 790.19 DEADLY MISSILE/THROW NG J DISP/DEF PROSECUTION PGM -MODIFIED/REMOVED

22

06/19/1996

MEMORANDUM RE: ADVOCATE PROGRAM SUCCESSFUL

21

06/19/1996

DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT - PRETRIAL DIVERSION PGM SUCCESSFUL

20

06/19/1996

REPORT RE: NOLLE PROS SET FOR 07/03/1996 AT 09:00

18

01/12/1996

AMT/ 8000 DISCHARGED 01/12/1996 POWER/XD55998

17

01/12/1996

00002 M/ 806.13(1)(B)1 CRIM MIS/0-200 NG J DISP/ -MODIFIED/REMOVED

16

01/12/1996

00001 F/ 790.19 DEADLY MISSILE/THROW NG J DISP/ -MODIFIED/REMOVED

15

01/09/1996

DISCOVERY RESP: STATE'S DEMAND FOR DISCOVERY & DEMAND FOR AL

14

01/09/1996

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE

13

01/09/1996

WRITTEN PLEA OF NOT GUILTY

12

01/09/1996

INTAKE UNIT ASSIGNED: FELONY DIVISION 12

11

01/09/1996

REPORT RE: DEF PROS PGM-ACC/REJ SET FOR 01/12/1996 AT 09:00

10

01/09/1996

00002 M/ 806.13(1)(B)1 CRIM MIS/0-200 DISP/ -MODIFIED/REMOVED

9

01/09/1996

00001 F/ 790.19 DEADLY MISSILE/THROW DISP/ -MODIFIED/REMOVED

8

01/09/1996

INFORMATION FILED

7

01/01/1996

INTAKE PROS. ASSIGNED: EDERI JOSEFSBERG, AMY RG

6

12/27/1995

BOND RECEIVED #XD-55998

5

12/25/1995

INTAKE UNIT ASSIGNED: FSU - CASE SCREENING

4

12/25/1995

INTAKE PROS. ASSIGNED: ARDEN, TOM

2

12/20/1995

AMT/ 8000 ISSUED 12/20/1995 POWER/XD55998

1

12/19/1995

ARRAIGNMENT HEARING SCHEDULED FOR 01/09/1996 AT 09:00

LaMorena313
LaMorena313

Seriously? You mean to tell me they can't figure out which of these red-neck, pointy white hat wearing, trailer park raised inbreeds made this phone call? Let me help you investigators, How about phone toll records? This is ridiculous. Such children, with such a coveted job, none of them deserve to be a civil servant. Where was this guy (victim) raised at to even put up with this for that long?

This department should be ashamed of itself. This type of behavior from such a small department is accepted from the top, down. 

And why hasn't the local news media picked up on this? Oh yeah, that's right, because it doesn't involve big boobs, twerking, or Justin Bieber.

Verylow_IQ
Verylow_IQ

WTF did i just read..you have got to be kidding me, this type of shit is acceptable on miami beach.  If the voice on the tape is one of this guys supervisors...wow they are going to be fucked , good buy pension and hello jail time.come on federal government do your job and find those five asshole firefighters. We all know the fbi has voice matching technology. This would not convict ,but you would have some explaining to do. damm bro...la policía está a encerrar y tirar la llave

Jaime Brunner
Jaime Brunner

Omg. Seriously? This is Miami- whites are minority

Stanley Fitzgerald
Stanley Fitzgerald

Pepe Peña I appreciate the comments. As far as being "people movers"? as I have told a family member of patient that was under my care was "Yes, we are ambulance drivers until its your family member in the back" and she said that her view of EMS has been changed since that experience. So as far as that goes, sure I am a people mover. I am not gonna change their minds. It seems that you genuinely care about what you do, which is great but the issue with what the dude (in the article) has experienced is unacceptable and just because of what I do and will continue to do in the future will not stop me from calling out racism and discrimination. I have more respect for the people that straight up racists and are not hiding it than for people that act from what was read above.

Pepe Peña
Pepe Peña

Flav Jan you're a firefighter paramedic, you work on a amr transport unit, you have pictures infront of engines during ride times and now your bad mouthing the instructors and teachers that gave you your career?? Ungrateful. You sound like your a little sore about not getting hired. You don't see anybody mentioning you on duty sleeping on the stretcher with your feet proped up.

Enrique Benitez
Enrique Benitez

Well Aditza if a family member of yours is every in need of a rescue at your home (heart attack, allergic reaction, traumatic injury) what ever the cause call a taxi they're a tad bit cheaper at moving people, ignorant jack ass

Pepe Peña
Pepe Peña

Aditza 'Dizzy' Reyes superficial ,overpaid, people movers??? You should be ashamed of yourself!!

Stanley Fitzgerald
Stanley Fitzgerald

And by not saying anything we are perpetuating this abhorrent behavior. It's about time to put the racist cowards in the spotlight. All of those individuals take an oath to protect fellow citizens from "ravages of fire and other natural disasters..." Yet they cannot accept someone cause of the color of skin? Gimme a fucking break.

Keyboard_KATTTT
Keyboard_KATTTT

How can law enforcement not find those responsible. If they can do it for Obama I am sure they can do it for this guy. I know this guy is not the president , nor is he smart enough to be a politician, but when President Obama was experiencing this very same issue , they found those responsible and gave them silver bracelets, with  a cozy room and a room mate. Why isn't the same protocol being followed for this situation, obviously thier has been one established. But it could just be that this situation is "bullshit, money grab, race bait". Those firefighters below me are on to something.

Cary Jorge
Cary Jorge

I would like to hear it all.. not just the bits and pieces.

call_u_out
call_u_out

This is Bullshit money grab race bait.

call_u_out
call_u_out

Bullshit... You might get away with this money grab (tax payers) back in the 80's or before...but there is simply no culture of racism or tolerance for it at the FD or PD.  Good friends might joke about stereotype culinary preferences, prowess or dancing skills OR complete lack of all three...but this malicious N word usage is fabricated.

Juan Fernandez
Juan Fernandez

Story sounds pretty one sided.. I'd like to hear what the other guys say

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

The city should be ashamed! !!!! The PD ashamed the EEO ashamed. If we can locate Taliban we can find these jerks harassing this man. Fire them NOW! Prosecute for hate crime. Disgusting low lives. Sorry he is going through this inexcusable.

Stanley Fitzgerald
Stanley Fitzgerald

"Investigation opened with our PD..." It's a fucking joke. The worst thing is that within the "brotherhood" the jokes whether racial, sexist or hateful you will be told to grow thicker skin due to being a firefighter, in the end it all it does is keeping ignorance alive and well. A celebration of ignorance.

Roberta Stirrup
Roberta Stirrup

Which one is white? A sheet an towel is white, so u all have been lied too, pale yes but not white by a long shot

Rocki Cook
Rocki Cook

Watch what you say Flav Jan... especially after how they are treating this guy...

Fred Rhoden
Fred Rhoden

Racism never die. People still passes it on to their kids/family.

Alex Porro
Alex Porro

We'll see who saves him if his house catches fire..

Israel Marcel
Israel Marcel

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Israel Marcel
Israel Marcel

Joana Bolivia, your site triggers virus alerts- Had to get off.

Joana Bolivia
Joana Bolivia

Start working at home with Google! Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. It's a great work at home opportunity. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. Linked here w­w­w­.­b­o­o­t­h­7­.­c­o­mONLY don’t include “ONLY”

Christian Meighan
Christian Meighan

If you've been keeping up most of these things turn out to be hoaxes. I'd be interested to know if said employee is in any kind of trouble or disciplinary action before I get excited.

Aileen Luck
Aileen Luck

Does he get to choose whom to save? So sad

Steph K-Coutts
Steph K-Coutts

North,South,East or West. race should be the last thing people are worried about in this day and age. There are so many other problems with this country and someone is going to turn it into a race issue!?Shame on whoever did that to this man! He gives his time and potentially his life every day he goes to work never knowing if he will get hurt while on the job while saving someone else. Grow up people and get rid of your hate or better yet, move to a country that will allow you to act like that because we don't need to be hating on one another. This is what's wrong with our world and we need to fix it. One bad attitude at a time!

Karina Stigler-Neciosup
Karina Stigler-Neciosup

He should send his case with supporting evidence to the White House... It takes a while but they really do something ...

jdomar
jdomar topcommenter

Miami Beach is run by racists I would say. They hate blacks, at least based on the big picture.

Carlos Rosario
Carlos Rosario

Hello people we are in the "South" don't forget it......

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

Miami Beach should have been dissolved years ago and absorbed by the county.  Post all the legal cases against the city and watch what happens.

Lorna Boman
Lorna Boman

It's appalling that in this day and age that there is still so much rampant racism here in the US. I feel like I just read an excerpt of a story from back when segregation was still active throughout the nation. That man became a firefighter to help save people and risk his life on a day to day basis just so he could be singled out for being black. What the hell is wrong with people? I don't care if the man or woman saving me was pink and purple, the fact is that they want to help me from whatever danger I am in. Grow up people! We have more to worry about these days than what color his or her skin is.

Antwaine Robinson
Antwaine Robinson

when are we going to understand that we are all human being and we must die, we need to put color aside and live united with each other, I am black and I will never hate white people because I can't make a human being, life is way too short for us to be mad at each other because of the color they have.......

He_is_a_pussy
He_is_a_pussy

@LaMorena313 I know where this guy was raised...he was raised on sissy street. That firefighter on the tape sounds gayer than richard simmons. Gay people love taking abuse, just like they like it up the butt. sometimes you feel like a nut sometimes you don't.Almond joy taste great

Fools_gold101
Fools_gold101

You are right only white people can be racist..I call complete bullshit on this article. Micheal Miller what are  you thinking?

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

Why isn't there the same urgency to investigate this further? Simple equation: This guy != president.

LaMorena313
LaMorena313

You sound ridiculous. The "other guys" are hiding in their white hooded outfits and would like to remain anonymous since their race hating is no longer politically correct. That's what racist cowards do. Have you ever left south Florida "Juan"? Spent anytime in any non-Latino areas of Florida?

Firedup75_818
Firedup75_818

I agree..it seems like bullshit, race bait , money grab... Nobody in 2014 would do this. Racism does not exist anymore

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