Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cop Decorates Pickup With Noose

From the Daily Comet:

THIBODAUX - A Thibodaux police officer has been suspended and could face dismissal for displaying a hangman’s noose from the rearview mirror of his personal car while it was parked on city property.

Cpl. Michael Rodrigue was suspended Tuesday following complaints made to Thibodaux Police Chief Craig Melancon by other officers about the noose.

The noose had been seen dangling from the rearview mirror of the personal pickup Rodrigue regularly parked in the police department’s parking lot.

“I do not know what possible justification he could have for a symbol both you and I know is absolutely insulting,” Melancon said.

“It is not a shoe string. It is a piece of rope and it was hanging from his rearview mirror, and it was not difficult to see this hangman’s noose.”

I hope that they fire him, and quickly. The symbol is more than insulting. It is threatening. It is a reminder of terrible times in the past, and it shows that racism is alive and well in my town.

Burnell Tolbert, president of the Lafourche Parish branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Thursday that he gives a good grade to Thibodaux officials, including Melancon, for acting swiftly on the matter. He also saw it as a good sign that other officers, both white and black, expressed distaste for the display.

But he also said the department moves much more slowly when it comes to complaints from civilians about alleged police misconduct.

The pay for policemen here is quite low. You can't hire the best people on the salaries offered. Nevertheless, that's no excuse. What idiocy! What meanness! Corporal Rodrigue must go.


  1. Oh my Lord. How tragic. What is becoming of us as a nation?

    Don't answer that...

  2. Franiam: its not just you lot. We had a case recently of two policemen who raped a woman because she was drunk. Apparently she was "begging for it".


  3. The viciousness spreads like a dormant virus that's become active again. It's always there, but not always so visible.

  4. This is the town where you live, isn't it? At least your police chief and some of the other cops showed some sense. More evidence that Race is still a major US problem and that we're not just being masochistic or self-obsessed when we say so.

  5. Lapin, this is my town. Yes, it's good that others on the police force and the chief were disturbed by the noose and moved quickly to address the situation.

  6. I am glad you are there Grandmere Mimi. Hold their feet to the fire on this.

  7. Rowan, the powers-that-be would want all to think that we are without problems here. It's a pleasant enough place to live, but it is not a utopia, not even for good dogs like you.

    How are you holding up in your confinement, and how is your friend Lindy? Is she still taking shots/

  8. I know exactly the "justification" he calls upon, and so does everyone else; it was no insult, as the Chief regrettably put it, but what you call it, Mimi: a threat.

    Firing and prosecution for a hate crime would be my take on it, plus an ongoing liaison between minority/ oppressed groups and law enforcement is my suggestion.

    The ex-small town Southern cop

  9. Johnieb, so far as I know, displaying a noose is not a hate crime here. That was one of the excuses for not doing more in Jena, LA, to the "pranksters" who hung the nooses in the "white tree" there.

  10. The one good thing that can come from horrors such as this noose fad is that those who are in denial about the existence of racism and intolerance in this country (and in ourselves) are forced to confront reality. I'd sooner have a little more denial and no nooses, thanks very much, but here we are. When things like this happen, we can only pray and work hard to help bend the arc of the moral universe back toward justice.

    Mimi and all, I am beside myself that I missed the OCICBINY meetup, but so grateful that I got to see some of you on Sunday. Tobias's parish is a warm and wonderful place, and Klady and Mimi are delightful brunch partners! As if there was any doubt. Peace to all, until we meet again!

    PS: thanks for rolling me, GM!

  11. QFC, it was my pleasure to add you to the blogroll. I thought you were there already.

    Next time you will be with us, when we meet. We did have the beautiful service at St. James and our wonderful brunch together.

    As for the noose - it makes me sick every time I think about it.

  12. This stuff never goes away. It goes underground sometimes, but when conditions are right (pseudo-redneck violent frat boy in the White House) it comes right back into the light of day.



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