Fired Lesbian Police Chief Receives Community Support in South Carolina

Fired Lesbian Police Chief Receives Community Support in South Carolina

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latta-2Though the first female chief of police in Latta, South Carolina, has never faced any disciplinary action in her 20 years on the force, she was fired anyway.

The openly gay chief of South Carolina, Crystal Moore, was fired by the newly appointed mayor, Earl Bullard, after he was caught on the record saying he trusted alcoholics more than homosexuals.

Moore found that Bullard failed to give a thorough background check on the town’s parks and recreations director, Vontray Sellers, and he had been operating a city vehicle on a suspended license.

Bullard said that Moore conducted her background check “without authorization, questioned the authority of a supervisor and contacted ‘news and media to help bring about disorder and disruption to the town of Latta,’ among other things” according to the Daily Mail.

City officials, however, aren’t sure that is why the openly gay chief got fired.

Council member Jared Taylor has a recorded phone call from Bullard with his anti-gay remarks.

“I would much rather have – and I will say this to anybody’s face – somebody who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children,” Bullard had said. “I’m not going to let two women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it, and I’m not going to see them do it with two men neither.”

According to another council member, Lutherine Williams, the proper protocol requires a verbal warning followed by a written warning before firing the chief of police. Instead, he gave Moore seven reprimands in one day.

“Before he was sworn in [as mayor], he said…Crystal would not have a job,” Williams said.

Many council members and Latta residents protested Bullard’s decision at City Hall.

“This woman has been a veteran of the department and a pillar of this community for years,” Latta resident Kevin Drawhorn said.

Moore is shocked she has been discriminated against because of her sexuality.

“I can’t believe that we still have no equal rights. That’s the biggest issue,” she said. “I’ve been harassed, intimidated. This is the first time it’s been public. I’d tried living a quiet decent life and do what I’m supposed to.”

A referendum to weaken the mayor’s power was voted on during a special meeting held by the city council. According to the council, the mayor can only fire a police chief with their approval.

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