May 27, 2014
Douglas Day was working security at the West Virginia state capitol building on Feb. 3. He was ‘keeping the peace’ among the protesters who were upset about the Freedom Industries chemical leak and the subsequent water crisis.
Day ran into a female friend of his who was protesting and wanted him to join her in the protest. He could not do so.
Day was upset that he could not join, went home and posted the following comment on Facebook;
“If there was any time I despised wearing a police uniform, it was yesterday at the Capitol during the water rally. A girl I know who frequents the Capitol for environmental concerns looked at me and wanted me to participate with her in the event. I told her I have to remain unbiased while on duty at these events. She responded by saying, ‘You’re a person, aren’t you?’ That comment went straight through my heart!”
Three days later Douglas Day received a letter from Kevin J. Foreman, deputy director of the Division of Protective Services, reminding Day that his job was “at-will position and [you] may be released from employment without cause.”
According to West Virginia Gazette,
Day also received copies of several internal statements about why he was fired.
On Feb. 3, the day Day wrote his Facebook post, Capitol Police Lt. T.M. Johnson wrote to Foreman that the post “shows no respect to the department, the uniform or the law enforcement community which he represents.”
On Feb. 12, Sgt. A.E. Lanham Jr. wrote to Foreman, “I found the entire [Facebook] posting to be extremely offensive and shocking … This is just another episode of many incidents which show his bad attitude and lack of enthusiasm toward police work in general and toward our department in particular.”
Lanham did not list any of those “many incidents,” but said he believed Day’s firing was justified.
“If they believed there was some sort of a violation I made, then why wasn’t it addressed? They never brought me in and never said anything to me,” Day said. “In 2½ years working there, I had no disciplinary action taken against me at any time. Nothing was ever written up and I received no reprimands.”
Simmons called the reasoning behind Day’s firing “narrow-minded and flimsy.”
The irony of this situation is that if Douglas Day would have responded to his friend’s request to join her in the protest by smashing her head in with his baton, he would have likely not received any punishment whatsoever; other than paid vacation of course.
The Free Thought Project receives quite a bit of correspondence from law enforcement officers who want to know how they can help prevent brutality and incite peaceful change. Just to contact us takes some serious commitment to integrity.
Unfortunately this will only serve to silence those ‘good cops’ who are courageous enough to challenge the status quo by questioning the immoral laws they enforce.