Atlanta Fire Chief Fired

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mscriv, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. mscriv, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015

    mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    USA Today Story

    I've referenced USA Today's coverage in an effort to cite a somewhat neutral source as opposed to giving people the opportunity to rage against the bias of the news source. For the sake of brevity I've only taken excerpts from the article. Please read the article in its entirety and feel free to post other supporting articles of your choosing.

    I'm surprised this topic hasn't been posted here yet. I know there have been a lot of threads here in PRSI related to the subject of discrimination, belief, and freedom to express opinions. What are your thoughts on this one?

    Mr. Cochran's book is available for purchase on Amazon and obviously the controversy is generating publicity.

    There are also some interesting comments in the Customer Reviews section. One that specifically caught my eye for seeming both well written and well informed was this one. The reviewer states:

    So, what do you all think about this? Let's have some positive and respectful discussion because it's a fascinating situation.
  2. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended


    Jun 6, 2005
    Universe 0 Timeline
    Reed just opened himself up for one beauty of a wrongful termination suit if Cochran's telling the truth.
  3. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Reading the OP, termination might have been a bit much. I would have to read the whole book to be sure.
  4. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    Its all dependent on whether his beliefs about homosexuality mar his decision making process one the job

    "Chief, I think there's two men trapped in that flaming apartment"

    "Let them burn"

    That kind of thing.

    It does sound like the fire dept may have shot the bullet of justice into their own foot though :eek:
  5. iBlazed macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    Lol. You said flaming.
  6. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I have a feeling there's far more back story to this than we're seeing in these few paragraphs. If this story is the summation of everything the man was fired for I think Atlanta will be paying him a bit of money.
  7. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Since Reed stated these things up front, he must have additional information that has not been released to the public. I expect that the public will eventually find out, but, it may take a lawsuit, since it would probably be illegal to open up personnel records without a legal order to do so. This could take a while, so, there likely will be plenty of time for speculation in the meantime.
  8. TimelessOne macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    Chances are there are a lot of reasons they wanted him gone. This was the final piece needed to fire him. I willing to bet he was on very thin ice and needed to go any how.
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The original articles suggests that he tried to ensure it wouldn't be an issue, although it's worded to suggest that he just floated the idea rather than the actual writing.

  10. giantfan1224, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015

    giantfan1224 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2012
    Part of the mayor's comments struck me as hypocritical:

    So in essence he's discriminating against Chief Cochran because his personal beliefs differ? That's a dangerous precedent to set. So now if you're a practicing Christian then you can't hold a position in government in the city of Atlanta? If there really isn't more to the book then what's been quoted here then I'm disgusted. I hope he sues and I hope he wins. Big.
  11. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    It says he gave them a copy of the book beforehand, so if it was an issue they should have told him.
  12. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    Just want to point out that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can get his book self-published and sold on Amazon.

    Frankly, I see this as a free speech issue. Unless the book was an autobiography detailing his life as an arsonist, I could not care less about what he writes, and don't believe he should lose his job over it.
  13. TimelessOne macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    Ah remember free speech does not mean freedom from consequences of your speech. Freedom of speech is not going to protect your job even if you work for the government. A city for example could tell its police force that they are not allowed to take part in a protest if they want to keep their job. That is a condition of staying employed.
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I get that. But when we usually talk about that concept it has to do with some form of condemnation from the people ... not losing your public sector job. I think that there needs to be some reason that has to do with performance, or breaking the law, before one gets fired from public service. As others have noted, his lawyer will have some fun with this case.
  15. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    I agree. I don't see anything so far in the book that should require his sanction. His ideas are dumb, but unless city employees are prohibited from publishing books about their work, he should remain on the job. That said, I wonder if there's some hidden situation here or if there was something else in the book that led to his dismissal.

    First, this dismissal is post-hoc, so the chief was told not to print a book. Second, police officers can be in a legal protest if they're off duty and in civilian clothes and I would argue that they have a right to do so.
  16. TimelessOne macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    You missed the part. A city could tell them that they would lose their job if they appeared there at all. Now most do not do this but it would be with in the cities right to do that. Basically just because you work for a government entity does not mean that they can not fire you for your speech or actions. Sorry bill of rights does not apply here. Standard labor laws apply. People forget that key part far to often.
  17. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    On the job maybe.

    But this is a book regarding his religious beliefs.

    It has nothing to do with his job at all.
  18. TimelessOne macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    by that argument how would it be is a top president aid went off and wrote something that went against him. You know damn well he would be fired.

    It would be one thing if this book was written by a low level guy. Chief comes with different rules. Higher up you go the less freedom you really have if you want to keep your job. At the top it is a different story. If this was a just a basic firefight no one would care about the book or what was in it. Chief rules are different at that point on or off duty your appearance matters and how you appear matters.

    Like I said before. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequences from your speech. He is not going to go to jail or be fined over this. Keeping your job different story.
  19. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    By "went against him," do you mean in public policy? Because that would reflect upon his job performance.

    But if you're talking about religious beliefs, then I think you're on shakier grounds. Should a president fire a top aide because he found out the aide was Jewish and dared to write a book about his faith?
  20. TimelessOne macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    That is different. I have a feeling there is a lot more going on here and I have a feeling that this is the tip of the iceberg of this guy. It was the final piece they needed to fire him.
  21. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Then according to you, I guess freedom of speech isn't really freedom of speech.
  22. TimelessOne macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    Then what do you put freedom of speech as.
  23. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can say whatever you want without anyone replying or acting in response. Only that the government can't do anything about it.

    To use a loaded example, the Klan has ever right to organize a march down Main Street without the government interfering. It's their right to voice their opinions and beliefs. But at the same time, someone else organizing a protest in response to their march isn't infringing on their right in any way for the exact same reason. The protesters themselves have the right to voice their opinions and beliefs.

    It's why the government doesn't shut down Westboro whenever they picket a funeral. It's also why counter protests are allowed to respond in kind to their picketing.
  24. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    The freedom to speak. Fear of losing job, facing hate campaigns, or receiving death threats, is hardly freedom conditions to speak under.

    Or perhaps you feel some recent French cartoonists should not have freedom from consequence of their speech?
  25. TimelessOne macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    Again all freedom of speech means the the government can not pass a law or prevent you from doing anything. Your employer is another story.

    In this case the bull of rights nor the Constitution apply as all. Just employment law. That means as long as he was not fired for one of the protected items it is allowed.

    Keeping your job on your freedom of speech is not protected. Losing your job over it falls under consequences.
    You are doing the classical miss understanding of freedom of speech thinking it applies to everything. It only applies to what the government can pass and enforce laws on.

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