Posted on March 23, 2005

State Trooper Subject of Two Investigations

WHNT-TV (Huntsville, Al.), Mar. 23

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. An attorney for a Tennessee highway patrol officer says two state investigations of the trooper’s conduct are based on racial discrimination.

Trooper De’Ossie Dingus was featured in a February 26th article in The Knoxville News Sentinel as part of a series of stories during Black History Month.

Dingus, who is black, explained in the article why he chose to go into law enforcement when that profession historically has generated friction within the black community.

He criticized affirmative action and said government handout programs have been — quote — “devastating to the black community.”

Melissa McDonald of the state Department of Safety said the department is investigating because Dingus didn’t receive prior clearance to do the interview — not because of what he said.

A second investigation of Dingus was launched by the state Department of Personnel. That probe apparently is focused on allegations that Dingus has contributed to a hostile work environment.

Dingus’ attorney, Judy McCarthy, called the investigations “racial discrimination.”

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