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Police officer fired after post about pulling over Dabo Swinney on message board

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer
No word on how fast Swinney was traveling in this photo. (US Presswire)

If you've ever read the message board affiliated with a college football team, then you know there are crazy people in this world. People who, when cloaked behind anonymity, will say just about anything. It's a world where opinions are plentiful and thoughts are sparse, and one man learned that when you step out from behind the curtain, that lack of thought can lead to real trouble.

Michael McClatchy was an officer for the Pickens Police Department in Pickens, S.C. On Sept. 3, McClatchy pulled over a vehicle for speeding. As it turned out, the driver of the vehicle was Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney, who claimed he was late to a radio show he was doing at the local Bi-Lo, which is where McClatchy had pulled over Swinney.

Swinney had been doing 63 mph in a 35, and received his speeding ticket while signing autographs for fans waiting outside the store for his radio show.

Eleven days later, on Sept. 14, after rumors of Swinney's speeding ticket began making the rounds on message boards -- because what else is there to talk about on a message board? -- McClatchy decided he had to let the world know what happened.

In the posting, the officer said he didn't plan on posting about the incident, but “wanted to clear the air for all involved.”

The officer said he believed Swinney “thought he would be excused for the violation and continue to his appointment.” He said Swinney and his brother were asked to have a seat in the vehicle, which they did not. The officer also said the Bi-Lo store manager approached him and told him a city official was on the phone and would like to speak with him, but the officer declined.

According to the officer, Swinney's brother said that he was a retired Alabama police officer with more than 30 years of experience and asked the officer to take the fact into consideration.

McClatchy also wrote that Swinney gave him "an unfriendly glare" before leaving and entering the Bi-Lo. McClatchy was then fired six days later for what police chief Rodney Gregory called a "violation of city computer policy, violation of code of ethics and violation of general orders."

Of course, what would this whole post be without the dashboard video of the entire incident?

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