Protesters Rally Against So-Called Racial Acts in Coffee County

By: Greg Gullberg Email
By: Greg Gullberg Email

- Coffee County, GA - Feb. 13, 2012 -

Protesters storm City Hall in Douglas, Georgia with accusations of racial discrimination among the Fire and Police Departments.

Waving banners and chanting, protesters cry out against two incidents, both within one week of each other in 2010. And both involving using a noose to supposedly antagonize African-American officers.

Larry NeSmith is the Coffee County NAACP President. He tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg why this rally is so important to them.

"By doing the rally, it's showing the city that we come in numbers. We don't just come as one. We come in numbers. We come to let everybody know we're here and we're not going anywhere until justice is done," said NeSmith.

In the Douglas Fire Department Theodore Moore says a noose was roped around his neck during a promotion interview.

"We're not here to stir trouble but we're here for justice. Not only for myself but for others that are coming behind me," Moore tells Gullberg.

Recently, over the phone the Douglas Fire Chief told Gullberg those men were reprimanded, but no one was fired.

Now in the Douglas Police Department several Caucasian officers allegedly dangled a noose in front of an African-American officer. One of those officers was fired. But that decision was later overturned by the Board of Commissioners.

The new Police Chief, Gary Casteloes, says he's been digging into the issue and hopes to get to the bottom of the situation.

The Georgia state NAACP has called for a federal investigation into the events in Douglas.

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- Coffee County, GA - December 15, 2011 -

The Georgia State NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into what it's calling racially charged actions against firefighters and police officers in Coffee County, Georgia.
Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg has the story.

The Douglas Police Chief in Coffee County is running an internal affairs investigation and working with the president of the Coffee County chapter of the NAACP, Larry Nate Smith.
Smith says he's deeply concerned by alleged racially motivated acts within the Douglas Fire and Police departments.
And he accuses city officials of helping sweep it under the rug.

"They're condoning racism and I don't think in this age and time that we need that in our city or nation," Smith tells Gullberg.

The fray revolves around two separate incidents both within a week of each other in 2010.
Both involve using a noose to allegedly antagonize African American officers.
In the Douglas Fire Department Theodore Moore says a noose was roped around his neck during a promotion interview.

"So, you know, it makes you wonder what kind of people are working with you," Moore tells Gullberg.

In the Douglas Police Department several Caucasian officers allegedly dangled a noose in front of an African American officer.
One of those officers was fired, but that decision was later overturned by the Board of Commissioners.
Now that the Georgia State NAACP is raising the issue the new police chief is running an internal affairs investigation.
Chief Gary Casteloes says the results will be revealed in the coming days.

Gullberg asked the Douglas Fire Chief over the phone about allegations against his department.
Fire Chief White says disciplinary actions have been taken in a timely manner.
He does not expect that any further investigations will reveal much more.

Firefighter Moore says he's working with the NAACP in the investigation and he's looking into the prospect of pursuing legal action.


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  • by white police officer on Feb 15, 2012 at 05:12 AM
    I think if the individuals are not fired there should be a higher authority step in and investigate. I hate the naacp because they are a bunch of racist people looking foe a chance to play a race card and not help out the black community, but I have to side with them on this. If what happened in the police department is all the facts then they need to dump these officers on the spot. What will happen when they arrive to investigate a white on black crime and aide with the white side. The black side will eventually sue the department for these officers siding with the whites because of race. Also a fair and unbiased investigation can never occur, which will give more reasons for people not to trust law enforcement
  • by white police officer on Feb 15, 2012 at 05:12 AM
    I think if the individuals are not fired there should be a higher authority step in and investigate. I hate the naacp because they are a bunch of racist people looking foe a chance to play a race card and not help out the black community, but I have to side with them on this. If what happened in the police department is all the facts then they need to dump these officers on the spot. What will happen when they arrive to investigate a white on black crime and aide with the white side. The black side will eventually sue the department for these officers siding with the whites because of race. Also a fair and unbiased investigation can never occur, which will give more reasons for people not to trust law enforcement
  • by face the facts on Feb 14, 2012 at 09:44 PM
    racism is worldwide, and almost everyone is a racist, and if they are not totally, they are borderline tolerant, which is still racism, I don't care WHO you are. It is part of human nature. Now, let's move on to another subject before this comment page bursts into flames, it is already smoldering and I think the ignorance here on all sides is just fanning the flames.
  • by CountyLine Location: Crawfordville on Feb 14, 2012 at 04:50 PM
    Blacks weren't the only ones hung by a noose.... just the only ones that pull the race card and cry every chance they get. Get over yourselves!
  • by Big Dog on Feb 14, 2012 at 03:37 PM
    OK. These are the little minions of Obama. They are following his marching orders to cause unrest. They want to start a race war. What they do not understand is this -- by starting a race war Obama will call out martial law and take all guns away and we will be put in concentration camps that are all along the railroads. There are over 600 built in the US; built by a subsidiary of Halliburton. We were told they were for illegals, but we know better. The blacks better think twice about what they are doing because they will be collateral damage also.
  • by Reagan Republican on Feb 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    If the description of what happened is accurate, the individuals involved in both the fire and police department should be immediately FIRED. It should be made clear to all Govt. employees that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable and will NOT be tolerated and that you will be FIRED.
  • by Vic on Feb 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM
    Personnel in any Fire Dept or Law Enforcement have to rely heavily on each other to keep each other save and not be killed or injured. Very stupid acts and any weak link in these agencies need to be immediatedly removed.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM
    To te situation at hand the fire department and police department needs to rid of all the racist slim balls and it starts at the top. They know whats going on in the department. They need to stop it, because if they dont they will find themselves on the front of the paper and cnn news and in a forced earlyu retirement. It just plays to be fair and right to all human race.
  • by Swift on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:52 AM
    Hahahhaa black males have more to fear from other black males with guns and knives than any noose. White men dont lynch people now days thats absurd. Although if you look at our prisons and jails you'll see why, in better days, the swift justice of a noose was beneficial to our justice system. Imagine all those rapist and murderers of all colors, that would be strung TFU instead of living off your tax dollars for 20 years, only to get out and do it again.
  • by Stupid Doesnt = Racism on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM
    Hahahhaa black males have more to fear from other black males with guns and knives than any noose. White men dont lynch people now days thats absurd. Although if you look at our prisons and jails you'll see why, in better days, the swift justice of a noose was beneficial to our justice system. Imagine all those rapist and murderers of all colors, that would be strung TFU instead of living off your tax dollars for 20 years, only to get out and do it again.
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