Jacksonville Firefighter Speaks About Noose Investigation

A search for the truth in the investigation of nooses found at a downtown fire station puts lie-detector tests in the spotlight.

In February, two nooses were found on the equipment of two black firefighters at Fire Station 4. The incident resulted in a lengthy investigation being launched.

On Monday, one of the firefighters who police said did not pass his polygraph test regarding the incident spoke out.

Last month, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Lt. Matt Cipriani had deceptive results on two polygraph tests.

Cipriani said the reason he wanted to talk about the incident was so that people could see him explain why he took a third lie-detector test on his own.

He said he was upset because the sheriff's office said he failed two lie-detector tests when he was asked about nooses being found on the equipment of two black firefighters.

"I have been fully cooperative. I do not have direct or indirect involvement in this incident. I do not know of anyone who does. I have provided all the information I can to JSO and I will continue to do so until this person is caught," Cipriani said.

He said he was telling the truth, and that was why he paid an Orlando firm and had them give him the third polygraph test.

Channel 4 was given a copy of the questions and results. In the test, Cipriani was asked: Were you in the coatroom when the nooses were put on the bunker? Did you have or ever have the nooses in your hands? Did you knowingly provide any false, misleading or incorrect information?

Cipriani answered no to all of the questions.

"I have not sought legal representation. I want this person or persons caught just as much as anybody else," Cipriani said.

The examiner report said there is no indication of deception, and that there was no reaction that indicated he was lying.

Cipriani was the second firefighter to talk about the polygraph tests. Rufus Smith, one of the firefighters whose equipment a noose was found on, also failed the test. He said he didn't do it.

A third firefighter, Roderick Laws, who found the nooses, did not take the test and has not said anything since the lie-detector results were released.

Cipriani still works at Fire station 4, and said he is ready to move on.

"I ran the gamut of emotion. It has been a tough time from the onset of the incident through the investigation and going through that," Cipriani said.

About two weeks ago, the sheriff's office said it had a tip in the noose investigation case. However, on Monday JSO said the case is closed.

Previous Stories:

  • December 4, 2006: Police Release Details, Reopen Noose Case
  • November 30, 2006: Black Firefighters: Noose Incident Part Of 'Persistent' Problem
  • November 29, 2006: Firefighter Says He Cooperated 110 Percent In Noose Investigation
  • November 28, 2006: Police Close Case On Firehouse Nooses
  • November 27, 2006: Fed's JFRD Investigation Results Disappoint Mayor
  • November 27, 2006: Firefighters Postpone Reward In Noose Incident
  • November 22, 2006: Firefighter Discusses Noose Incident, Fed's Decision Not To Prosecute
  • November 22, 2006: Feds: Investigation Of Firehouse Nooses Inconclusive
  • November 15, 2006: Mayor Responds To JFRD Task Force Findings
  • September 18, 2006: Duval Grand Jury Won't Investigate JFRD
  • August 8, 2006: Human Rights Panel: Mayor Might Need To Replace Fire Chief, Top Staff
  • February 21, 2006: Another Black Firefighter Tells Of Noose
  • February 20, 2006: Fire Chief: Those Who Put Nooses In Firehouse Will Be Terminated
  • February 17, 2006: Nooses Found At Downtown Fire Station