Police Chief fired for being gay speaks for Charleston Pride Week

Police Chief fired for being gay speaks for Charleston Pride Week

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Crystal Moore says she lost her job as a police chief because of her sexuality and is speaking out for LGBT equality.

As part of Charleston Pride Week, Moore spoke Wednesday to Alliance For Full Acceptance. She has one clear message.

"We all need to start standing up for what's right," Moore said. "So many of us have backed down and let them take charge, and it's time for us all to speak up and be treated as equal."

Crystal Moore's whole life has been in police work.

"This August will be 24 years that I've been with Latta Police Department, and I worked all the way up from dispatcher to officer to sergeant and lieutenant," Moore said.

Moore is a lesbian, a fact that almost everyone in the community knew.

"We attend all kind of sporting events together," Moore said. "We coached softball together. We do everything together."

This year, Mayor Earl Bullard was voted into office.

"People started telling me on the street, 'Watch out, the mayor is after you because of your sexuality'," Moore said. "I was like don't worry, I've been here 23 years. I do my job. I do what's fair and what's right. I'm not worried about it."

Immediately, Moore says Mayor Bullard started harassing her and eventually made up fake discipline issues. When Moore refused to sign them as truth, she was fired.

"Of course I was shocked," Moore said. "I couldn't believe 23 years of hard, dedicated and loyal work to our town was ended because of one person's belief about me."

The city rallied behind Moore by voting to change Latta's government, giving city council the power to override the mayor's decision.

It's a move Moore says set an example.

"We want smaller towns to be like Latta," Moore said. "That's what we need in the United States."