Richmond cop fired for blowing whistle on death threat against Obama

Only in Virginia would you get fired for blowing the whistle on a possible threat against an African-American President’s life.

Remember, Virginia is the state that went all the way to the Supreme Court 45 years ago to defend its insistence on arresting inter-racial couples who dared commit the crime of marrying each other.  So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this story.

Virginia is also the state that took a woman’s child away from her because she’s a lesbian. Then there’s Virginia former Senator “Macaca.”  And the Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate who doesn’t believe in women working. Or “Confederate History Month.” Or the fact that the Virginia GOP thinks being gay is an automatic disqualification for being a judge.

And who can forget transvaginal ultrasound?

There’s a long history of hate in Virginia.  Pretty state, but hateful as hell.

First some quick background:

The whistleblower told CBS 6 last year that the inappropriate comments were made by a 20-year police veteran who was talking on the phone to an officer assigned to provide outside security for the president and first lady. The whistleblower reported that the veteran suggested the officer “take a couple of shots . . .” and that another voice in the background talked about planting a bomb under the stage.

In all fairness, it should be noted that the officers in question were also fired, and they are contesting their dismissal – calling the allegations a lie.

I don’t know if the Richmond police are firing the whistleblower for racist reasons.  But you’d think with Virginia’s history of racial hatred, and overall hatred of minorities, the state would be somewhat more sensitive to punishing a man for attempting to stop what he says was a threat to assassinate the nation’s first African-American president.

You’d be wrong.

According to WTVR/CBS in Richmond, the Richmond Police reverse-engineered the whistleblower’s identity, when he appeared on the local news, by removing the electronic veil the station put to hide who he really was.

While it’s understandable that the Richmond police might not be thrilled with whistleblowers – no one the subject of a whistleblower ever is – it’s also apparent that this police officer didn’t think the issue would be addressed sufficiently if he’d not gone public with his concerns.  That’s a problem that officers don’t feel comfortable reporting issues of this gravity to their superiors.  And it’s the reason whistleblower protections exist in the first place.  Sometimes people have a legitimate concern that organizations are insufficiently able to police themselves on matters of some importance.

I’ve worked on police issues before.  And I’ve seen this kind of heavy-handed response to an officer who did a good deed, but but broke the rules in doing it.  There’s an appropriate way in which to handle something like this, and it’s not by firing the officer who tried to save the life of the President of the United States.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • tomtallis

    So there were no LAPD on scene. Somehow, I doubt that.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I think you might mean “Foxbot.”

  • Dakotahgeo

    The problem is, even if there is ONE dishonest cop or Law enforcement person, that is three too many. Point well taken!

  • Dakotahgeo

    Why are we so surprised by Virginia’s actions? There must be something in the drinking water of the old southern tier of states that make them react and behave the way they do. Can a 40 foot wall be built around the borders of Virginia and have it declared a mental institution? Geeezzz Louise… I am SO embarrassed for them. Pity them… pray for them! QUICK!

  • pappyvet

    Under state criminal codes, , it is an offense to knowingly utter or convey a threat to cause death or bodily harm to any person. It is also an offense to threaten to burn, destroy or damage property or threaten to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that belongs to a person.

    The problem arises in context. The rightwing hatespeak which has been pushed like a drug has in some cases made it easier to recognize true lunacy. Thanks to the ever increasing hostility of the rhetoric these days, the “tribe” continually use hatespeak to identify.

    I do not disagree with you but walk into any redneck bar as I have just to hear the day’s conversation and I assure you that you will hear talk that can be identified as threatening not just against the President but against anyone they feel is not “one with the body.”

    Now we could fire and arrest all of them which would feed the fire or we can put the light of discovery and shame on those who actively and knowingly promote this kind of hatred.

    For example;
    ‘I repeat: Should the entire American Left fall over dead tomorrow, I would
    rejoice, and order pizza to celebrate. They are not my countrymen; they are
    animals who happen to walk upright and make noises that approximate speech. They
    are below human. I look forward to seeing each and every one in Hell.’RedState
    contributor “Thomas Crown”:

    and

    to Stephanie Miller;
    “As with Cindy Sheehan the best thing that could happen to you would be seeing
    some WONDERFUL activist sticking an AK-47 up your Glory Holes and sending you
    into eternity. Therefore, I trust the both of you ——- will continue to show
    yourselves on TV shows, exposure to more and more people, as GUARANTEED your
    words will someday possibly accelerate your demise again not on my hand but by
    someone who believes in such finalizing action. … Would love to celebrate and
    would for days one end as I always would and will when still another America
    HATER meets his/her maker.””Sock” Sokolowski,

    What we have is an entire movement of hatred, Now where do you suppose this vile crap comes from? And for what purpose? My opinion is that this is where our attention needs to be focused. I agree with you my friend in principal,but there is much much more going on that enables the wingnut passwords and slogans.

    “I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on
    every campus — living fossils” Rush Limbaugh

    Here is one very informative link,the sad truth is that this tribal garbage can be found in many places.

    http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/03/eliminationism-in-america-appendix.html

  • dragon7380

    that is so much a lie I will not even comment further on it.

  • dragon7380

    There is NO Federal Law against saying “Kill the Umpire” There is for making a threat against the President of the United States. The Police Officer took an OATH to uphold the law. And reporting that item was doing his job as he swore an oath to uphold.

  • dragon7380

    So I am pretty sure you are a Foxbat because I have heard that same line coming from people who are addicted to watching Fox

  • pappyvet

    There is a bipartisan dispute on Capitol Hill over how to investigate a series of national security leaks, including disclosures the U.S.-Israeli use of cyberweapons to target Iran’s nuclear program.
    After reading some of these posts ,I take it that the investigations,[ whether we agree with them or not,and I have grave concerns] are “fitting” and equal to a whistleblower coming forth about police officers discussing assassinating the President of the United States. It is not.

    Having said that , I do wonder next time someone yells “Kill the Umpire,” if that persons life will be destroyed for it. I know that there are strict laws about state secrets that have been in place for decade and I also know that people talk crap all the time.

    Whistleblowers have never walked an easy path and judgements about whether there was an honest and urgent concern must always be made. I would like to believe that the police officers were just talking trash,just as I would like to believe that the government cases will be deemed to be insignificant to our security. We will find out. Just as we found out about the illegal domestic eavesdropping operation that Bush approved. Just as we found out about the case of Teresa Chambers of the National Park Service who after publicly raised concerns about increased crime in our National Parks under Bush,was fired . A lawyer for the Bush administration asserted that Chambers had made reconnaissance operations easier for “America’s enemies in the world.” In court documents later filed by Chambers she described how armed federal agents suddenly appeared and surrounded her in Donald W. Murphy, then the deputy director of the National Park Service reception area, and took away her gun and badge. She was then paraded in front of media when escorted to another building to collect her belongings.

    Then there is Valerie Plame who was a covert CIA agent when Scooter Libby, former State Department official Richard Armitage and Bush advisor Karl Rove, disclosed Plame’s identity to reporters.

    High government officials puposely putting a covert agent’s life in potential jeopardy trumps any of the current investigations .Throwing Libby to the wolves was no answer. [Libby got 30 months in jail.]
    I will wait to see what the current facts are before I equate current investigations to the cases of Whistleblower terrorism that took place under the Bush administration and as for the cops, stupid bellyslapping and I hope not much more,

  • Jafafa Hots

    There are no honest cops.

  • rabblerouzzer

    The decision to burn the cabin was not LAPD’s, it was the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department’s jurisdiction and their call. I live near Big Bear, listened to it unfold on my police scanner, and it was SBSO deputies and SWAT on scene at the cabin. The deputy who was killed there, Jeremiah McKay, graduated from our local high school and worked our local sheriff’s station for awhile.

  • http://fighttherightwingnuts.blogspot.com/ mike31c

    There IS a reason as to why West Virginia wanted out… :p

  • Jimmy

    I think you’ll fine most police officers would have a problem with this. Breaking the Blue Wall is strongly discouraged even when someone is known to be doing something wrong.

  • TiredOfThePhonies

    This is really a stupid, stupid comment.

  • nicho

    He tried to get his story out and clear his name, but he was driven over the edge by a corrupt, violent, and racist LAPD. What he did was wrong — but the LAPD’s decision to roast him alive was even more wrong.

  • Badgerite

    Christopher Dorner became a murderer. Not the best way I can think of to try to clear your name. But at least he probably opposed ‘drones’. So, there’s that.

  • iamlegion

    Oh, I wouldn’t say “Only in Virginia”… I’ll bet you could get the same treatment in several other states.

  • nicho

    Well, Obama himself has been quite vigorous in punishing whistleblowers — so I guess this is only fitting. And the cop got off easy. Christopher Dorner was a whistleblower and the LA police decided to burn him alive to keep him from telling his story in court.

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