by Sharon Rondeau
Mr. Whiting, who is nearly an octogenarian, arrived early and sat quietly in the presence of a hearing- and visually-impaired man for about 15 minutes when the governor’s security guards, who are confirmed members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), told him to move, show identification, and then blocked his path of vision to the governor as he shook hands with other constituents and apparent Republican Party bosses.
On Thursday, The Post & Email contacted the public affairs office of the THP and spoke with Sgt. Bill Miller, who asked us to summarize our report in writing, which we did. Miller then passed the complaint to Communications Director Jennifer Donnals.
Donnals responded to our detailed report of Mr. Whiting’s treatment by the close of business on Thursday, although she did not address the allegations of attempted intimidation, discriminatory treatment, and blocked access to the governor when others were permitted access.
We then asked her several more questions, which were:
But why was he asked to “identify himself” when no one else was asked to do the same?
Do you think that Mr. Whiting is due an apology for the troopers’ behavior?
Do they deny trying to intimidate him?
On Friday morning, Donnals sent the following response: