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 | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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