Only a fool would light a match in a wooden cabin filled with gasoline-soaked newspapers. Which, figuratively, is what Metro Corrections Sgt. Derek Hale did last week when he posted a Facebook message suggesting that police officers stop patrolling high crime areas and just let those who live in those neighborhoods kill each other.
Fortunately, Hale's boss, Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton, was having none of it. He suspended the sergeant, correctly recognizing that such public, inflammatory speech reflected a dangerous attitude toward an entire segment of the community his agency serves.
Such a post by a public servant would be outrageous even in the calmest of times. But now, with emotions worn raw by the recent tragic events involving police and minority communities across the country, this is exactly what we don't need. And while Sgt. Hale certainly has a right to express his opinion, when he does so by name and title in such a public forum, he sabotages the tremendous efforts that are being made by his superiors to alleviate tensions instead of exacerbating them.
Yes, freedom of speech is real. That means you won't be arrested by the government for what you say. But understand this -- so are the consequences of speech that runs counter to the values, goals and mission of your employer, and I salute Director Bolton for his swift action.
Call and tell us what you think.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.