The Lafayette County Sheriff’s office is defending an employee who wore a confederate flag dress to her senior prom.
In 2013 Sergeant Samantha Bell, who has been stationed at the Lafayette County Sheriff’s office for the past 5 years, wore the Confederate Flag dress to her Wellington-Napoleon High School dance.
She added, “For you to come on my property and accuse me of something that absolutely has nothing to do with that Confederate flag except for my daughter’s heritage and my heritage is absolutely wrong.”
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office has joined Bell’s mother in defending the Sergeant’s decision to wear the confederate flag dress nearly a decade ago.
Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh spoke to The Kansas City Star and stated he and Bell had a conversation about the picture.
“Our employee advises she was in no way making a racial statement by wearing this dress. She was simply stating her southern heritage in memory of her deceased Grandmother.”
Alumbaugh stated that in the entire five years that Bell has worked for his office, he has not received “any complaints or concerns of racial bias.”
The Anti-Defamation League has declared the Confederate Flag a hate symbol that should not be displayed proudly. The flag has ties to slavery and white supremacy.
While speaking with The Kansas City Star, Lauren Bonds, the legal director for the National Police Accountability said that police departments need to conduct extensive background checks on prospective candidates who may have racists or extreme ideologies.
“I do definitely think that this is going to undermine the trust that folks may have in this particular officer,” she said.
While it has not yet been proven whether Bell is a threat to those in her community, there is a long history between racism and policing in the U.S., The ACLU reported.