It was only a couple months ago that the North Charleston police made headlines when Officer Michael Slager shot and killed Walter Scott, who was black and unarmed, during a traffic stop. The killing came at a time when much of the country is discussing the role of racism in policing.
Now, race is at the forefront of a discussion about the Confederate flag following an act of racially motivated terrorism at a church in Charleston, which left nine people at a bible study dead.
While the flags are being pulled from retailers and removed from government buildings, citing the racial undertones and hatred it represents, some are clinging to the flag even harder to proudly proclaim their beliefs.
One of those people was Dildine, who took to social media to proclaim that he doesn’t care who he offends, posting the photo in his underwear.
"Your posting in this manner led to you being publicly identified as a North Charleston Police officer and associated both you and the Department with an image that symbolizes hate and oppression to a significant portion of the citizens we are sworn to serve," Police Chief Eddie Driggers wrote in a termination letter to the sergeant on Thursday.
The chief also stated his concern that Dildine’s proud display of what is widely considered a symbol of hatred and racism may call into question the motivation of any arrests Dildine has made of a person of color, "since defense counsel can reasonably be expected to use the photograph to call into question the [sic] your motivation in making the arrest…"
Driggers continued on to write that "some say the flag emblem may have different meanings to different people, but your personal beliefs are irrelevant to the City's decision to terminate your employment.”
Dildine has 10 days to appeal the decision.