SFD Fire Chief Harold Scoggins launched an investigation in response to the find.
SFD Fire Chief Harold Scoggins launched an investigation in response to the find. 400tmax / GETTY

In an email sent to all members of the fire department last week, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said a firefighter found a noose inside Seattle Fire Station 24, which he acknowledged as "the same station whose old patch with racist iconography was inadvertently used in the 2020 yearbook."

The person who found the noose "brought it to the attention of their colleagues, and the officer on duty alerted leadership," he wrote.

The department has since launched an investigation.

A fire department spokesperson confirmed the investigation but said the department will keep any more details confidential at this time to "maintain the integrity of the investigative process."

"Discrimination and racial harassment are antithetical to SFD’s values and will not be tolerated," the spokesperson added.

The station where the firefighter found a noose.
The station where the firefighter found a noose. Seattle.gov

In the email, Scoggins recognized the impact of the find on Black firefighters and staff. "I see you, and I understand," he wrote.

He also said he was "dismayed" that this incident occurred during Black History Month.

"A noose has an undeniable history in our nation as a symbol of racial hate and intimidation and historically has been used to murder Black people," he added. "As such, any instance where a noose is found in our workplace represents a direct threat. While we don’t know the intent of whoever tied the noose, there is no circumstance in which it could reasonably be considered innocent or appropriate."

This isn't the first time a noose has been found at a Seattle fire station. During the height of the summer protests in 2020, a Black lieutenant firefighter found one "at a knot tying station where knots are practiced inside the station," according to KIRO 7. A source told the news station that firefighters don't practice tying nooses.

I asked the department to provide details regarding the patch with racist iconography, and also to relay the results of the investigation into the last reported noose found at a fire station. I'll update this post when I hear back.

Update 2/24: A fire department spokesperson said the 2020 investigation did not identify the person responsible for tying the noose.

As for the patch: The yearbook included "an old version of the Fire Station 24 patch" with text in a font "in which the letter 'o' could be perceived as a Sun Cross, a symbol misappropriated for use by white supremacist groups." That patch "was redesigned some years ago," the spokesperson added, but someone included the old patch in the year book "in error." To address the issue, the department ordered stickers to place over the patch.