Target: Latta, South Carolina Town Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Lutherine Williams
Goal: Applaud a South Carolina town council for fighting to reinstate its police chief after she was fired for being a lesbian
Many observers believe the police chief of Latta, South Carolina was fired because of her sexuality. Residents of the small town rallied to Chief Crystal Moore’s side, protesting what they saw as an unjust termination by the town’s new mayor. The Latta Town Council worked diligently to ensure that Moore was reinstated despite Mayor Early Bullard’s attempts to prevent her from returning to work at the police department.
Chief Moore is openly lesbian and is the first woman to serve as Latta’s police chief. She has served in the force for more than twenty years. Shortly before she was fired from her position Moore had criticized Mayor Bullard for not conducting a thorough background check on the town’s parks and recreation director. The director was later found illegally operating an official vehicle with a suspended license, likely while intoxicated. Following her criticism the mayor issued seven reprimands against Moore and used this as justification to fire her. The mayor was recorded making homophobic remarks, even going so far as to say he would trust a raging alcoholic with his own child before he would trust someone whose “lifestyle is questionable,” according to the Washington Post.
The Latta Town Council stood by Chief Moore and called for a town vote on a referendum to restructure the government and strip the mayor of certain powers. The Post reports that the referendum passed with an overwhelming 328-147 in support. Mayor Bullard swiftly appointed a new Police Chief, Freddie Davis, in hopes of preventing Moore’s return; but once again the council acted in her defense. Davis was dismissed from his post, and Moore was formally reinstated.
Homophobic acts against individuals due to their sexual orientation are an atrocity, and should never go unopposed. An earlier Force Change petition urged Mayor Bullard to reinstate Crystal Moore as police chief of Latta, and to issue a public apology. While he may not have corrected his mistake, thankfully others have. Applaud the efforts of the town council in standing up for Chief Moore’s human rights.
Dear Councilwoman Williams,
I recently learned that Chief Crystal Moore has successfully returned to work as Latta’s police chief. Despite Mayor Bullard’s efforts to keep her from being reinstated, you fought back and exposed his irrational and homophobic views.
Thank you for working to correct the immoral act that Mayor Bullard committed in firing Chief Moore based on her sexual orientation. Discrimination in any form is an atrocity, and you have proven that it will not be tolerated in your town.
Thank you again for standing up for justice and equality.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fry1989 via Wikipedia Commons