Police Chief Crystal Moore rejoiced Tuesday when the Latta, South Carolina town council voted overwhelmingly she be reinstated to her position with the force. Furthermore, they voted to limit the power of Mayor Earl Bullard, who reportedly fired Crystal in April after learning she is a lesbian.
Unfortunately, the celebrations were cut short yesterday. In what The Huffington Post named "a final show of power," Bullard hired a man to take over as police chief--just before Bullard is stripped of a number of his political powers, and just after a council-imposed 60-day waiting period to hire a replacement for Moore. The new hire, Freddie Davis, has signed a two-year contract.
Crystal told WPDE, in response to this announcement, "I have went from being ecstatic, overwhelmed, not able to speak to crushed again. Once again the citizens came out and did what was necessary. He said he would do what the citizens wanted what. They came out and they spoke. They supported the yes vote."
Bullard has denied that his motivations are anti-LGBT in nature. Regardless, many locals join Chief Moore in disagreeing. Recently, a recorded phone call was released to the public in which the former Mayor goes on an anti-gay rant, in which he says, about people who are gay:
…Because that ain't the damn way it's supposed to be. You know ... you got people out there -- I'm telling you buddy -- I don't agree with some of the lifestyles that I see portrayed and I don't say anything because that is the way they want to live, but I am not going to let my child be around.
I'm not going to let two women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it. And I'm not going to see them do it with two men neither.
I'm not going to do it. Because that ain't the way the world works...
Many also believe Bullard's latest actions were in retaliation against the town's interest in redistributing the power, so that Latta would become "council-strong," rather than "mayor-strong."
In a town with a population around 1,400, hundreds have rallied in support of Chief Moore and thousands of dollars have been raised online to assist with legal and living expenses.
Crystal has served with a perfect record in the police force for 20 years.
Currently, a person can be fired in 29 states simply because of one's sexual orientation, and in 32 states just because of one's gender identity. To learn more, visit glaad.org/enda.