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Vulgar Facebook post prompts rally; officers threaten to leave

A Facebook feud between pro and anti Mocksville police groups turned personal last week, resulting in a rally in Downtown Mocksville supporting the police department – especially the women in law enforcement.

It also led to some 15 officers signing a letter saying that if Police Chief Pat Reagan is fired, they will walk off the job. (Read the entire letter at www.ourdavie.com.)

But on Thursday, it was posted on the anti-police group page that Mocksville Police Major Koula Black had been promoted to her position because of her gender, but the post used vulgar terminology.

Although now removed, the post sparked an outrage from women and men in the county and beyond.

Black, speaking at the rally on Saturday at Main Street Park, said more female officers is what law enforcement agencies need.

“We are what they need. We are what society is crying out for, they just don’t know it yet,” Black said. “More females in law enforcement will make it work.”

“All they’re doing is a smear campaign,” she said. “It’s garbage, lies and nonsense. And it’s something that female sin his profession have been dealing with for a long time.

“They’re angry. They don’t want progress. That’s what this fight is all about. I can’t tell you what I’ve put up with.” She said the sexual harassment here is the worst she’s seen.

“I have turned a cheek for almost 15 years on this sexism – not just towards female law enforcement officers – but women in general, and minorities. And it’s got to stop. The world is crying out ‘No More’.”

She said that Mocksville is small enough to overcome it’s prejudices.

“It’s not all about me. That comment was disgusting and gross. Apparently they got the message because they took it down … but not before it was blasted all over the country. We have to set the stage for your youth to let them know it is not OK to talk about a woman or minority that way.”

She thanked her fellow officers and others at the rally for the support. They held signs such as “Koula Black, We’ve Got Your Back,” “No More” and “Protect Our Ladies in Blue.”

Candace Burleson Kaufman, Chief Reagan’s sister-in-law, also spoke.

“We’re sick. We’re tired. And we’re here to tell you no more,” Kaufman said. “No more of your lies and no more of your bs. No more of your corruption. No more of your remarks against women. No more of your own political agendas. No more of your lies.

“When you attack one woman, you attack us all. “We’re here to tell you no more. We’re done.”

“These people are gone for a reason,” she said, referring to police officers who were fired or left the department. “We’re here for change and for equality.”

Kaufman mentioned Mocksville Town Board member Amy Vaughan-Jones and Davie County Commissioner Benita Finney (also the wife of former officer Jeff Finney) as being part of the problem. “They’re disrespectful. We’re going to put our fingers in their face and say ‘you are the problem’.”

Letter Threatens Walkout

The letter signed by 15 members of the police department, including support staff, was distributed Friday.

The letter blames problems in the department on the policies of previous police administrations, which it said pandered to certain politicians.

“They want to be in control of our law enforcement agency and its members by doing what is right for them, but not for the staff or the citizens,” it said.

“It wasn’t until Pat Reagan started running this agency that things finally started turning around. Better equipment, more training, better recruiting and recruiting diversity, community engagement, accountability, fair and impartial hiring and promotional processes, and above all, making this an agency that the citizens felt they had a voice with.

“There are a few loud voices that belong to those who have been corrupted by the “Good Old Boys” system. This group is resented by politicians, former officers who left because they simply wouldn’t follow the rule sand were finally being held accountable, officers who were fired and their friends and spouses of these officers. If we could create a spreadsheet of connections showing this ‘Good Old Boys’ network for the public they would be shocked.”

The employees wrote they are disgusted by these politicians and former officers.

“These people refuse to listen to us because they have been so corrupt for so long. They don’t want change, they want things to stay status quo and want to be able to dictate every decision no matter how corrupt or outlandish.

“If Chief Reagan leaves this agency or is fired, the citizens can expect a mass exit of all the good officers who want nothing more than to do their jobs and to be trained property to do so.”

The letter was signed by: Senior Officer Chad Trivitte, Capt. Robin Robbins, Officer Tonney Neouv, Officer Casey Beck, Sgt. Brian Nichols, Major Koula Black, Senior Officer Nelson Rhodes, Officer Shaun Greene, Officer Timothy Hubbard, Detective-Sgt. Matt Leonard, Detective Logan Fox, Detective Cameron Jones, Officer James Taylor, DCI/Records Christy Jones and Evidence Technician Ashley Lambeth.

Reagan posted his own comments to staff on social media on Friday:

“Staff, recently a very insensitive, offensive and disgusting post was made by former employees. It is this level of ignorance that we as a department are trying to overcome. Our town and our culture is changing. We recognize the advancements and achievements of those in our midst. Regardless of gender, age, race, or religion, all of us make significant contributions every day Changing decades of ignorance is not something that happens overnight. But, we will continue to push for progress, education and the promotion of equality in our department and in our town. Our citizens deserve better than what we had. I know we are a better police force with men and women of integrity. The challenges we face are difficult, but united together we stand for more and demand the best. Thank you all for your dedication to every member of our community and to higher standards for each of us.”