We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).
Updated 12/14/2015. All updates are at the bottom of the post.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and the police commission have more problems than just the recent (but not unexpected) revelation that the Department has been continuing in its practice of cooking the books and the Los Angeles Police Protective League raising money for an officer convicted of assault on a women who died.
It would appear that Chief Beck is poised to promote a Captain who recently cost Angelenos $1.5 million after a 23-year Department veteran sued for being the target of vulgar racial harassment by a white supervisor and other officers.
Back in March of 2013 a jury awarded Earl Wright, a Black police officer, $1.2 million dollars after he alleged that the Department did nothing when he complained about his treatment on the job.
Court documents showed that Wright alleged that a Sergeant Peter Foster, a white officer who supervised the Community Relations Office in Central Division, gave him a 20-year anniversary cake with a fried chicken leg and slice of watermelon on top. Foster, is a part of the COMMUNITY RELATIONS DEPARTMENT also allegedly responded to a text from Wright asking for permission to leave work with, “Why? You gotta go pick watermelons?”
Other instances of the treatment that Wright endured including Foster sending Wright a text message depicting one yellow duckling with its arms raised above its head while standing in front of five black ducklings, according to the lawsuit, NBC reports. Under the depiction was a message that used a slang version of the “N” word to ask Wright what he was up to.
Wright also alleged that his face and that of another officer, Lenny Davis, were superimposed on a “Sanford and Son” poster that was plastered around the department.
Now if this how the Community Relations Office of the Los Angeles Police Department treats the Black people who work for and with them…exactly.
Fast forward to today and word around the Department is that one Captain Todd Chamberlain is up for promotion to the rank of Commander after taking the exam and being ranked in what the Department refers to as Band I. I’m told he’s also competing for the position against Captain Tighty Whities and some other nefarious characters in the Department but that’s another blog for another day.
There seems to be some real fear within the Department that Chief Beck might actually promote this guy even after he cost the City over a million dollars.
At the time of the jury’s decision, Chief Beck told the media that he was “truly saddened by the events that occurred in that work environment perpetrated by a few individuals, including Officer Wright.” Talk about blaming the victim. He added that the department “has used its experience from the allegations revealed in this case to more aggressively monitor workplace environments and investigate allegations of misconduct.”
This wouldn’t be the first time a Captain or member of the LAPD’s command staff participated in blatant misconduct and continued to rise in the ranks. Part of the problem the Department faces is that people are retiring faster than they can be replaced and to keep positions of leadership filled, the Department continues to promote those who are sponsored or are related to favorites.
If there weren’t merit to Officer Wright’s lawsuit, a jury wouldn’t have found in his favor and the city council wouldn’t have green lighted a $1,498,884 settlement covering attorney fees, court costs and other penalties.
According to LAPD insiders, while Sgt. Peter Foster was the main culprit, Wright’s superiors were slow to take action and should have removed the supervisor immediately once notified—something they did not do.
If Captain Todd Chamberlain is allowed to promote to the rank of commander, once again Chief Beck will have rewarded bad behavior—discriminating behavior. The message will be sent again not only to the rank-and-file but to us civilians as well that the LAPD has no real interest in doing anything at all about the racist bias culture which not only exists with the Department and the community it serves but inside with its Black officers as well. Promoting Chamberlain will continue the racial polarization that currently exists inside of the Department as well as send a clear message that racist behavior toward your fellow Black officers won’t get your fired—it will get you promoted.
Okay, okay. I heard you loud and clear. Proof you said of of a certain LAPD captain who is up for promotion to the rank of commander after his alleged “involvement” in some racist shenanigans over at Central Division that contributed to costing the city $1.5 million.
Proof you wanted so here it is, directly from the complaint–a complaint that netted a 12-0 jury verdict for the plaintiff Officer Earl Wright. 12-0.
Now, who still wants to defend this captain? Any takers?