A former Georgia police sergeant who was fired in July by the Roswell Police Department for flying a Confederate flag outside her home is now suing the police department, reported CNN.
20-year veteran Silvia Cotriss was fired for what her department called conduct unbecoming an officer. Now she has opened a lawsuit and she allegedly received help from a group with white supremacy ties.
After her termination, Cotriss's hired attorney David Ates, who said her firing was in violation of her constitutional right to free speech as a private citizen.
"She was displaying her pride in her Southern heritage and honoring her recently deceased husband," the lawsuit said. "The Confederate flag [is a] generally accepted symbol of Georgia heritage."
Additionally, Cotriss is backed by the Southern Legal Resource Center, a North Carolina nonprofit whose mission is described on its Facebook page as “a return to social and constitutional sanity especially for America's most persecuted minority: Confederate Southern Americans.”
Kirk Lyons founded the group and is considered a "white supremacist lawyer” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC website stated that Lyons serves what "has effectively become the legal arm of the neo-Confederate movement."
Lyons denied being associated with any white supremacy groups and said that he is representing Cotriss to make sure that Cotriss "gets a fair shake after being unfairly terminated,” reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cotriss is suing the city of Roswell and the Roswell chief of police for either reinstatement of her former position or 10 years of pay.
(Photo: Roswell Police Department)
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