Today’s entry takes us to Clayton County, Georgia, where the shooting of a one-year old was compounded by the absurdly racist comments of an investigator in the District Attorney’s office.
Last week, a teenager was arrested for the shooting of a toddler in Atlanta. Obviously, this was a major news story and reported in local news outlets, who then pushed the story to their Facebook pages. WSB-TV was one of those outlets. Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever read the comments section of an article can imagine, the usual racist comments quickly sprouted up. One such comment was by David Daniel:
The pic is a little blurry, so in case you can’t read it: “Violence with guns is unfortunately a part of black culture and will never get better until the government stops supporting them and they are taught to work for what they get and not take from others.” In a second post, Daniel elaborated: “Welfare was first created to assist families in need but has developed into a long-term income. Those that have no ambition to do any better for themselves and end up in neighborhoods where this sort of behavior is all too common. I am glad the child did not end up a fatality and a statistic.”
This is the usual, run of the mill racism that these comments are frequently filled with. However, what makes this comment particularly bad is that Daniel was a member of the Clayton County District Attorney’s office, where he worked as an investigator.
You’ll note the use of past tense. Daniel was suspended for his remarks and was set to face a disciplinary hearing, but he resigned instead. Said Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson, “My instant reaction was the employee could no longer work in our office.”
Again, I come back to a simple truth: public employees at every level, not just elected officials, are held to a higher standard. It was perfectly reasonable for Daniel to be made to resign in this situation: after all, a public employee who investigates crimes for the District Attorney must be fair and objective, and Daniel clearly revealed himself to be incapable of holding both of these traits. For government to work, people must have faith in the ability of public employees, including elected officials, to be fair and reasonable. Any employee who does not posses these traits should not work for the government.