Story Archive

Knowing is Half the Battle

Silvia Cotriss, 53, had flown the Confederate battle flag in front of her Woodstock, Ga., home for over a year. It wasn’t an issue until a neighbor complained to her employer: the Roswell police department, where she had been an officer for over 20 years. Cotriss removed the flag as soon as she was made aware of the complaint, but that notification came with an investigation for conduct unbecoming an officer on or off duty. “Cotriss explained that the flag was part of her history, part of the South, part of history involving the Civil War,” the investigative report said. And, the report says, she denied knowing that the Confederate flag was considered offensive to some people, even though an intense debate over that flag has been in the news for over a year. “Cops don’t watch the news because we live it in the day and don’t want to see it again at night,” Cotriss said. She was fired. According to the termination notice, Cotriss “engaged in conduct that was unbecoming, which brought discredit to the Roswell Police Department when she flew” the flag. Cotriss is appealing the decision. (MS/Atlanta Journal-Constitution) ...Paying attention: the difference between living the news and becoming the news.
Original Publication Date: 07 August 2016
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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