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).
A former LAPD officer who says that Black officers were punished more severely than their white and Latino counterparts is suing Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and the City of Los Angeles. Venson Drake also says that he was forced into early retirement to avoid possible firing over an anonymous complaint.
Drake says that during his time with the LAPD, he was a witness to racially motivated behavior by other officers, including members of command staff.
“Plaintiff saw an unwritten rule that there is a difference in the way the department treats black officers as opposed to white and Hispanic officers,” the suit alleges.
Drake alleges he also saw LAPD officers and as well as high-ranking personnel “treat African American citizens in a disparate manner, acting with hostility, bias and unfairness to those in the community it policed who were Black,” and objected to his non-black colleagues making racially offensive remarks.
He goes on to allege that the LAPD also regularly passed over qualified Blacks for promotions in favor of less qualified whites and Latinos.
This is a complaint that I have heard many times before.
The LAPD’s Internal Affairs division received an anonymous complaint in June 2012 that Drake “was violating a department policy,” the suit states.
There were two other officers named in the complaint, one white and one Latino, according to the suit, which does not state the nature of the complaint.
In June 2013, Beck rejected a Police Commission recommendation that Drake be suspended for five days and referred him to a Board of Rights hearing for possible termination, the suit states.
Possible? Chief Beck made it perfectly clear that when he sends officers to a board he expects them to be terminated.
“Chief Beck’s decision not to follow the recommendations of the Police Commission was highly unusual,” according to the lawsuit, which alleges the chief’s actions were based “on account of plaintiff’s race.”
Drake says he was presented with a “Hobson’s choice.”
“Plaintiff was told he could either take retirement in lieu of possible termination or exercise his right to a Board of Rights hearing,” his suit
Although Drake chose to have a hearing, he says delays in having the procedure move forward forced him to “either take early retirement or put the economic survival of his family in jeopardy.”
“Having no real choice, and being denied a timely hearing, (Drake) took retirement in lieu of possible termination,” and he left the LAPD in September 2013, the suit states.
Well, Drake isn’t the first and won’t be the last Black officer who sues alleging the same department shenanigans. That you can be assured of.
I think what makes it so bad, is that there are Black people in certain high-ranking positions that walk around and act like none of this is going on. Let’s see, there’s a Black Assistant Chief, a Black police officer’s group and now a Black on the board of the police union and still nothing.
Drake, call me. I would like to know exactly who the high-ranking members of the department are who mistreated Blacks in the community and what exactly they did.