Silvia Cotriss, a 20-year veteran of the Roswell Police Department was fired from her position earlier this month for flying a Confederate battle flag in front of her house. The flag, which had been flying below the American flag for over a year, never sparked any kind of controversy or garnered any sort of complaints from her neighbors during that time, so you can imagine her absolute shock when detectives from the department of internal affairs informed her that she was under investigation. Cotriss says she had no idea that the flag was controversial until she was told that flying the confederate battle flag was “unbecoming of an officer, on or off duty.”
“If I knew it offended someone, my friends, my family, I wouldn’t do it,” Cotriss told the AJC. “Police officers have to adjust a lot of things in our lives, and for 20 years, my whole life has been about making change and being held to a higher standard. We take an oath to help and protect people, so we can’t have a private life that’s really bad.”
Sergeant Cotriss says that she filing an appeal to her termination in hopes to clear the situation up and get her job back. According to Cotriss’ case file, she is a 53-year-old, 20-year veteran of the Roswell Police Department who has risen through the ranks of the 200 officers that are employed there. For many years she has received commendations for her work from civilians, peers, and supervisors for her outstanding work as a police officer.
The Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant declined to comment on the case. At least one First Amendment attorney said that the firing could be a case of overreach in reaction to the recent war between police officers and BLM groups.