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In response to the letter, "Former Hall deputy is out of line to play race card with lawsuit," some important things have failed to be mentioned.
According to the complaint, Deputy Shawn Jackson had the second highest score on the written exam; was a first-line supervisor (corporal) at the time of the exam; had more time in the department than any of those chosen; is college-educated; was a commissioned ROTC officer in the Army National Guard; and was issued the Medal of Valor, the highest commendation issued by the sheriff for heroism.
Therefore, he appears to be extremely qualified and remains employed with the sheriff's office. How much more qualified does he need to be?
It also states one of the four white officers selected had been arrested by the Georgia State Patrol and had a recent disciplinary action. This doesn't speak of parity to me; it speaks of gross civil rights violation and blatant racism. If he is whining about racism, why didn't the sheriff's office have a black sergeant in the Uniform Patrol Division before he filed a civil lawsuit?
According to the news article, they didn't promote a black sergeant until after the suit was filed. The motive behind the timing of this sudden promotion seems to be extremely questionable. I agree, enough is enough!
Over a century later, it's hard to believe in the history of the Hall County Sheriff's Office there has never been a black person qualified to be a sergeant in the Uniform Patrol Division.
Lets not make this about President Barack Obama or the black professor in Cambridge. This suit, according to the complaint filed in federal court, is about correcting years of racial discrimination and bias in promotional practices. This system does not fairly give blacks a chance to advance when they are extremely qualified. Look at the lack of black and Hispanic representation as patrol deputies and patrol supervisors in Hall County.
There was mention of the sheriffs office following CALEA standards; however, it seems they have somehow been able to circumvent these rules.
In viewing the EEOC website, I learned Deputy Jackson could not have filed a suit without a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC. So is the sheriff's office telling the whole story? I agree people filing frivolous lawsuits should have to reimburse the defendant for their expenses. However, this is not one of those cases.
The bottom line is all of the citizens of Hall County lose when there are existing practices that discriminate against color, sex or age. When this occurs money is wasted, stereotypes are perpetuated and equality will never be achieved.
If the complaint filed by Deputy Jackson is accurate, then he deserves to be promoted and awarded all of the things he is asking for in his lawsuit, and the Hall County Sheriff's Office needs to change the way it conducts promotional process to obtain equality.