It's all about perceptions when it comes to racial issues

Russ Vaughn
The St. Petersburg Times is reporting on its tampabay.com that former St. Petersburg police chief, Goliath Davis, who is now the city's senior administrator of community enrichment, with a current salary of $152,735 and a police pension of $68,317, can't see his way clear to attending the funerals of two St. Petersburg police officers, Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger and canine Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz.

The men were gunned down while on duty. But Davis did manage to make time to attend the funeral of their unrepentant killer Hydra Lacy, Jr. According to the Times, Chief Davis' incredibly offensive behavior was first exposed by area shock jock, Bubba the Love Sponge, on station WHPT-FM. Bubba claims he was tipped by angry fellow officers.

In a time of polarizing race relations, it requires a truly clueless public servant to pull a stunt like this one. Chief Davis, who is black, ducks out on the funerals of the two, slain, white officers but attends the funeral of their black killer? Whether or not race was a factor in his poor decision making, Chief Davis will always have people believing that it was his most likely motivation no matter how much he protests. And what of the tactless insult to the entire American law enforcement community?

By the way, what is a bungling bureaucrat like Davis doing for the citizens of St. Petersburg that he should be able to double-dip to the tune of $220,000 per year? Were I a St. Petersburg taxpayer, I'd be demanding to see a list of this dude's accomplishments in community enrichment to justify such remuneration. One thing is certain, while Davis may have enriched his own image with some in St. Petersburg's black community, his offensive behavior isn't going to do much enriching of the racial climate in many other  communities, or across the rest of the country for that matter. Just  imagine the outrage from the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson had the races been reversed.

It's all about perceptions, Chief...

The St. Petersburg Times is reporting on its tampabay.com that former St. Petersburg police chief, Goliath Davis, who is now the city's senior administrator of community enrichment, with a current salary of $152,735 and a police pension of $68,317, can't see his way clear to attending the funerals of two St. Petersburg police officers, Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger and canine Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz.

The men were gunned down while on duty. But Davis did manage to make time to attend the funeral of their unrepentant killer Hydra Lacy, Jr. According to the Times, Chief Davis' incredibly offensive behavior was first exposed by area shock jock, Bubba the Love Sponge, on station WHPT-FM. Bubba claims he was tipped by angry fellow officers.

In a time of polarizing race relations, it requires a truly clueless public servant to pull a stunt like this one. Chief Davis, who is black, ducks out on the funerals of the two, slain, white officers but attends the funeral of their black killer? Whether or not race was a factor in his poor decision making, Chief Davis will always have people believing that it was his most likely motivation no matter how much he protests. And what of the tactless insult to the entire American law enforcement community?

By the way, what is a bungling bureaucrat like Davis doing for the citizens of St. Petersburg that he should be able to double-dip to the tune of $220,000 per year? Were I a St. Petersburg taxpayer, I'd be demanding to see a list of this dude's accomplishments in community enrichment to justify such remuneration. One thing is certain, while Davis may have enriched his own image with some in St. Petersburg's black community, his offensive behavior isn't going to do much enriching of the racial climate in many other  communities, or across the rest of the country for that matter. Just  imagine the outrage from the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson had the races been reversed.

It's all about perceptions, Chief...