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  1. #1
    Cidp24's Avatar
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    Policeman Fired Over Noose Incident

    Thibodaux policeman fired over noose incident


    11:25 AM CDT on Wednesday, October 31, 2007


    John DeSantis / The Courier

    THIBODAUX -- A Thibodaux cop accused of displaying a hangman’s noose from the rearview mirror of his personal vehicle was fired Monday.



    His family, however, calls 32-year-old Michael Rodrigue’s firing excessive and said the noose was not intended as a symbol of racism. They vow to stand behind him as he appeals Police Chief Craig Melancon’s decision.

    "There are certain symbols in our society that hurt, and certainly the noose can be depicted as one of those symbols to a large extent," Melancon said in an interview after the hearing that ended with Rodrigue’s termination.

    "As a diverse police department policing a diverse community, this symbol certainly represents pain to a large segment of our community, to our entire community. This is certainly a symbol taken in its entire context that can be very divisive," he added.

    Police officials said Rodrigue’s explanations, that he had displayed the noose for many years and that it was a symbol of law enforcement’s heritage, were not an adequate defense.

    The incident overall has had a major impact on his family, said the officer’s father, Donald Rodrigue.

    Dismissal has been painful for a man who loved his work, would arrive an hour early and leave two hours late, and counts many black people as his friends, Rodrigue’s father added. Some are officers who have been in his pickup while the noose was displayed and never said anything about it, the father said.

    "He is the kind of person, if a cat was dead at the side of the road he would give it a funeral," said Donald Rodrigue.

    "This is very hard, unbelievably hard, and the entire family is under a strain. It is to a point where I really wish my ancestors had stayed in Nova Scotia. Michael is not a racist for sure. He was brought up not to be prejudiced against anybody."

    CONDUCT UNBECOMING
    Rodrigue answered questions posed by investigators after a fellow officer reported seeing the noose to on Oct. 19. That report, made to a police captain, resulted in Melancon’s order that it be removed.

    Although a white officer made the initial complaint, Melancon said black officers requested a meeting as well. Originally scheduled for Oct. 22, it was postponed until the following day.

    At that meeting, the officers said they could not comfortably work with Rodrigue because of the noose. He was suspended with pay pending Monday’s hearing.

    The noose display, Melancon said, violates each of the five elements that can individually be used to sustain a charge of conduct unbecoming an officer.

    Rodrigue has refused the Daily Comet’s requests to speak about the matter, citing advice given to him by family members as he seeks an attorney to represent him.

    However, Rodrigue’s father, who lives in Chackbay, expressed anger and frustration with Melancon’s decision. There was never any intent for the noose to be interpreted as a symbol of hate, he said.

    But Rodrigue’s intent was not the primary issue, Thibodaux officials said.

    The department’s regulations covering the charge deal with the effects of an action. They do not raise the question of the officer’s intentions.

    Bringing disrepute to the organization, having a negative effect on morale and hampering the law enforcement agency’s effectiveness are among the points covered in the regulations.

    LAW AND ORDER
    According to the elder Rodrigue, his son received the noose as a gift from a fellow officer four or five years ago. It has remained hanging from his rear-view mirror since then. If the symbol was so distressing, he said someone in the department would have said something before now.

    Donald Rodrigue said the noose is symbolic of law and order, reflecting the manner in which justice in the past was sometimes upheld.

    National attention was focused on the noose as a symbol of racism during reports earlier this year on tensions in the town of Jena, where nooses dangled from a tree at a high school under which white students traditionally gathered. In the wake of a march on the town organized by black activists, reports of noose displays in various U.S. cities began to make news.

    Donald Rodrigue said he and his son, kept especially busy of late because of a family friend’s illness, paid little attention to news reports about the Jena situation or much else and so the connection between the noose and those issues was not made.

    "He is colorblind," Donald Rodrigue said of his son. "I never thought about it myself. If I had known I would have told him to take it down myself."
    Freedom of speech? Symbol of hate/racism? Over reaction by the employer/fellow employees?

    Whats your opinion?
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  2. #2
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Over reaction.

    There is no link to a noose being only a black thing. There were many whites hung as a form of punishment over many many years of history. While a noose may be in poor taste it is in no way a racial thing (by itself). The noose would require some other words or action to make it a symbol of hate.

    The PC world has gotten way out of control.





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  3. #3
    MacLean's Avatar
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    If that were Washington, they'd have it shoved up their ass and broke off in court.

    Then they'd pay him back pay following his reinstatement.

    Then he'd have to find another agency, or forever wonder why they were out to get him.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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  4. #4
    gozling's Avatar
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    you know... this is retarded... just tell him hey.. take it down or whatever..

    sometimes we may do something and its totally understandable in our own minds... but then if someone points out .. some other avenue of it.. well oops.. shit happens...
    we are human for frigs sake.

    i think just telling him to take it down would have been sufficient

    shit we cant even have american flags in our cars anymore... what the hell is that about? lol
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  5. #5
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    I didn't even think of racism until I read the second paragraph.


    How stupid.

    If someone made a complaint, fine....here's how you solve it:

    "Hey, take that down or you're going to get a couple days unpaid"


    Problem solved.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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  6. #6
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    So what happens when some tree hugger decides that my car freshner "Tree" is insensitive to their cause?


    Damn....of all the things we have to deal with today....we are now going to decide what is appropriate in a privately owned vehicle? That somehow that is reflection of professionalism or lack thereof? UNFREAKINGREAL!!!

    OhioNarc


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  7. #7
    MacLean's Avatar
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    I'm surprised at the number of you who would accept them making an order to take it down out of his PERSONAL car.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  8. #8
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    I think that officer just won the lottery. Wrongful termination, violating first amendment rights, I could go on. It's one thing that the general public thinks they can piss on us and we'll take it just because we're police officers- but when our administration does it, it's time to take a stand.

    Hit them where it hurts: their wallet. It's the only thing they understand.
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  9. #9
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    Maclean and Rhino...I'm with ya

    OhioNarc


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    Somewhere in Ohio


    "There will be no peace until they (terrorist) love their children more than they hate ours"


    The opinions represented here are mine, they are not intended to in anyway represent my agency.....

  10. #10
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    I'm surprised at the number of you who would accept them making an order to take it down out of his PERSONAL car.
    I understand what you're saying.

    But, a point to be made is whether we like it or not; if people know we are police officers, we are scrutinized...on duty or not. That's why I don't tell people what I do. I imagine you all do the same.

    If people recognize him as a police officer for XXX department, and are offended by his hangman's noose, that is a negative view for that person on that department, and ALL of the officers on that department.

    So I can understand the department asking him to take the noose down. I can't understand them firing him over it though.

    Would the department be justified in asking him to take a noose down that he has hanging from a tree in his front yard if someone made a complaint??
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  11. #11
    Buttercup's Avatar
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    I don't think it was racist but I do think that it was a gross overreaction and particularly egregious since it was in his own car.




  12. #12
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    I understand what you're saying.

    But, a point to be made is whether we like it or not; if people know we are police officers, we are scrutinized...on duty or not. That's why I don't tell people what I do. I imagine you all do the same.

    If people recognize him as a police officer for XXX department, and are offended by his hangman's noose, that is a negative view for that person on that department, and ALL of the officers on that department.

    So I can understand the department asking him to take the noose down. I can't understand them firing him over it though.
    I can understand asking, but not ordering.

    It's different all over the US, I'm finding. That would not fly here.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  13. #13
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    I can understand asking, but not ordering.

    It's different all over the US, I'm finding. That would not fly here.

    Well, if the someone ordered an officer around here to take the noose from their rearview mirror I can see a union complaint coming from it if the officer felt they were wronged.

    I just think asking or ordering it be removed would have been a MUCH smarter way to handle it.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  14. #14
    HotTamale's Avatar
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    I say it was an over-reaction, and was taken completely out of context.
    OPD Explorer Post #2235

    I never thought there was such thing as a stupid question, then I became a security officer.

  15. #15
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    Well, if the someone ordered an officer around here to take the noose from their rearview mirror I can see a union complaint coming from it if the officer felt they were wronged.

    I just think asking or ordering it be removed would have been a MUCH smarter way to handle it.
    Agreed.

    If I was asked to remove it, I would. I'm not an asshole.

    If I was told to remove it, I guess that is when I'd have an issue with it.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  16. #16
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Agreed.

    If I was asked to remove it, I would. I'm not an asshole.

    If I was told to remove it, I guess that is when I'd have an issue with it.
    What a civil debate.

    This is boring.

    Call me a name or something!
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  17. #17
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    What a civil debate.

    This is boring.

    Call me a name or something!
    You ass, I can't believe you'd stick up for the man!
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  18. #18
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    You ass, I can't believe you'd stick up for the man!

    I was hoping you'd go with filthy boot licking worm.

    And then spit on me.


    But whatever..


    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  19. #19
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    I was hoping you'd go with filthy boot licking worm.
    Commander? Is that you?
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  20. #20
    Cidp24's Avatar
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    IMO firing is over reaction. The current atmosphere in that area with the Jenna LA incident probably had a large bearing on the incident but, why not just explain to the guy that it is an issue and ask him to remove it because of that. If he says no, the admin is going to have to be ready for the backlash either way.

    Personally, I had a Rebel flag somewhere on my vehicle most of the time when I was young but, as the flag became less of a symbol of southern heritage and more of a racist symbol, I stopped. This was not out of any sense of PC and it was not bowing down to any pressure but it was out of common courtesy to my friends that it might offend.
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    Any statements or opinions given in my postings or profile do not reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employer or anyone else other than me. They are my personal opinions or statements only, thereby releasing my employer , any other entity, or any other person of any liability or involvement in anything posted under the username "Cidp24" on O/R.

 

 
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