Group defends Boston firefighter on paid leave

A Boston firefighter who was placed on paid leave after “disturbing” social media posts is being targeted unfairly by the department, an organization of black and Latino firefighters said Wednesday.

Darrell Higginbottom, president of the Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts, said that organization is supporting Octavius Rowe as “he contests the Boston Fire Department’s biased claims against his character.”


“He has no ‘violent’ history’ on the Boston Fire Department,” Higginbottom said in a statement. “It is not fair that he is made aware of specific claims against him via the media, rumor, and innuendo.”

“The Boston Fire Department’s process is flawed and Octavius has been targeted unfairly. We stand beside him,” the statement said.

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Rowe is listed as the vice president of the Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts, an organization of black and Latino firefighters.

Rowe, who has been a Boston firefighter for 15 years, was placed on paid leave Oct. 2, Boston fire spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

“The postings we’re aware of are very disturbing,” MacDonald said Tuesday. “Some are even violent in nature.”


He said fire officials, along with assistance from Boston police, are investigating the matter.

Rowe declined to comment Wednesday.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney. Danny McDonald can be reached at
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