Tennessee state trooper fowards a racist email to all his co-workers, get suspended for 15 days

Why does this guy still have a job? [

](http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091113/ap_on_re_us/us_trooper_troubles)Had it been any other workplace this guy would’ve been canned.

Can you give any examples where similar offenses resulted in immediate firing? And is it possible the officer’s union contract has some provision that protects him from immediate termination?

Former Boston Police Officer Justin Barretseems to be a nice recent example of a similar offence.

Here is a link to the full text of the email.

Canned? Not likely.

They are related, I suppose, but Barrett’s offense was an e-mail to a newspaper reporter, a public display of overt racism that included the phrase, “banana-eating jungle monkey” in reference to Harvard Professor Gates. He intended to make it a public communication. The OP’s case was apparently inadvertant, and, while it’s obviously not a model of racial tolerance, doesn’t seem quite as offensive as Barrett’s. (Of course, it’s unclear what the list of racial epithets were; it could well be that the e-mail was just as offensive.)

Finally, from what I recall, Barrett was not fired; he was suspended pending a hearing…

ETA: Just read Gobbell’s message. It’s worse than Barrett’s.

Having read the whole thing, I can’t even give this guy the benefit of the doubt. If it was just against one guy that said something to him earlier that day, I could hand-wave this as someone having a bad day with a temper that boiled over. Note that he did send it to a coworker and that he didn’t actually say it to the guy in question. But it’s not against just one guy that actually exists. He attacks pretty much every non-white group in America and imagines slights against him.

Fire him. Not for the inappropriateness of the email, but because someone that actually thinks these things can’t be a good cop.

(my bolding) Barrett dug his own grave by intentionally emailing many people (one, a news reporter) a racist email, while Gobbell only accidentally sent many people a racist email? That just doesn’t cut it with me. Honestly, how do you think your employer would handle this if you did the same thing? If you were given the greatest “benefit of the doubt” that would make you an insensitive idiot, any less benefit would make you a white power freak.

Also, you may be overly compartmentalizing this problem to just an email mistake… Since Gobbell is a state trooper, I think there’s some immediate and long term concerns to think of…

Immediate concerns: Has he broken any “rules of conduct” that one must follow when on the job? Like standard email/office/conduct polices that all jobs have, in addition to any extra ones that police officers must follow on/off the job.
Long term concerns: Do you think this incident will have any affect on his ability to do his job? For one, I don’t see how this state trooper can carry out his very important job after sending out such an extremely loony white power statement.

Yes, quite likely at any business I’ve worked at.

As a TN resident, I can tell you that the TN THP is monumentally fucked up, despite efforts by the current gov to clean it up. I’m sure there are some good THP officers, but the dept is notorious for having boneheads get caught doing unbelievable crap and (often) getting a slap on the wrist when the cover-up didn’t work. Just google “thp site:tennessean” to see articles from the Nashville paper from the last couple of years, such as:

2009: Second THP supervisor forced out
2009: Judge upholds THP firing

[li]2007: THP failed to report ex-trooper misdeeds[/li][li]2007: Sex cases plague THP[/li][li]2006: Report calls for THP overhaul[/li][li]2005: Deputy gov. key figure in THP cronyism[/li][li]2005: THP housecleaning sweeps out 2 more[/li][li]2005:Cronyism permeates THP, Bredesen says[/li][li]2005: Troopers with ‘politics’ win out on promotions[/li][/ul]

I was looking over my old threads and I decided to look this guy back up…and apparently he resigned in November[

](http://timesfreepress.com/news/2013/nov/25/tennessee-trooper-resigns-after-being-disciplined/)After 30 years on the job I guess he retired doing what he loved.

Agree completely. that’s some serious messed up thinking.


Wow! Thanks for the update, orcenio; that guy is a piece of work. I wonder if he knows Todd Kincannon? The two would make an awesome double feature. I bet we could get Phil Davison to do intros!

I’m a minority and I think that the guy should be given one more chance.

This should be documented and placed in his personnel file and he should be forced to attend diversity training (I’d like to sit in on that class) and then he should be returned to work after his suspension. If it happens again, then progressive discipline leading to termination should occur.

Read the whole thread, including the update. This guy had his one chance, and in the end he dissed a judge, possibly (apparently?) because she was black.

Read the whole thread and he retired after the incident with the judge. Doesn’t change my stance: Build a case, progressive discipline and then termination.

That way he couldn’t sue or come back.