Examples of rampant, uncheck racism in a Maryland police department included white cops calling for the reinstitution of lynching and painting blackface on a training dummy, according to a federal lawsuit.
Those were just a few of the examples a group of current and former Black and Hispanic officers alleged in their discrimination suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Maryland against Prince George’s County, the Washington Post reported.
It seeks unspecified monetary damages, including punitive damages, and a court order requiring county officials to prohibit racial discrimination in the police department.
Racism in the department extended into the minority communities that the department serves, the officers said. White cops allegedly called certain neighborhoods “sh**holes” or “ghettoes.”
African-Americans constitute about 64 percent of Prince George County’s more than 900,000 residents, the lawsuit said. Approximately 27 percent of residents are white. The department is comprised of 47 percent white officers, while Blacks account for 43 percent of the force.
“Many of our officers have witnessed abuses of people of color in our community, only to be retaliated against once they have reported the incidents. We need to ensure that when there is doubt, officers are confident to bring forth inquiries without fear of retaliation,” said Joseph Perez, president of the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association.
Three white officers, in particular, shared racist text messages in the department, including one that read, “We should bring back public hangings.” Department officials allegedly ignored complaints about the texts—not even bothering to investigate.
This lawsuit is the latest action seeking to address the situation. Last year, these same complaints were presented to the Justice Department. Federal prosecutors declined to comment on whether they are still investigating the allegations.
However, the Associated Press received confirmation from one of the attorneys involved in the case that the Justice Department has been looking into the accusations. Federal authorities have been interviewing officers “on a regular basis, ” Deborah Jeon, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, told the news agency.
“Any police department that fosters a culture of racial harassment and retaliation against officers of color within its ranks cannot hope to gain the community trust and support that is so necessary for achieving better public safety for everyone,” said Dana Vickers Shelley, executive director of the ACLU of Maryland.
Attorney General-Elect Of New York Letitia James Is Coming For Trump's Entire Family
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Letitia James is about to exceed Mueller as Trump's biggest fear! She's a black woman who has the power of the law - a mandate - to investigate & charge to the fullest extent of the law Trump, his kids, his associates & members of his campaign, transition team and administration. https://t.co/ZnNR5oYtLP— Aisha K. Staggers (@AishaStaggers) December 12, 2018
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This powerful and very sharp prosecutor is the new Attorney General we elected in NY State. She’s gonna look in every nook and cranny of Donald Trump’s Empty barrel of an empire. Get to know the name Letitia James. https://t.co/KjjDy8I2Cq— Pete Dominick (@PeteDominick) December 12, 2018
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I interviewed Letitia James (@tishjames) years ago. She is an unapologetic boss who who has consistently followed through with her promises to NY. Considering Trump's attacks on Black women, wouldn't it be sweet victory if Trump was taken down by a Black woman? pic.twitter.com/blHMHpzieN— Clay 'Critical Thinking Theory' Cane (@claycane) December 12, 2018
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As Public Advocate, Letitia James fought for the people! She still fights for the people & will continue to fight! https://t.co/YolB0hVyWs— Tee (@TeeBeeDee1) December 12, 2018
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Letitia James will rise as a heroine of the Resistance. The rule of law is on our side and now we have an excellent NY attorney general to pursue the Trump crime family from their tawdry base of operations. https://t.co/H0ohc2SlGJ— Suzanne Trimel🎃 (@STrimel) December 12, 2018
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Letitia James, I love you already. Good luck and may the Force be with you.— Betty Walden (@BettyWalden13) December 12, 2018
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Trump has repeatedly shown more contempt for the intelligence of black women than any other group that he’s insulted.— Skeevy Wonder (@larryjamad) December 12, 2018
It will be so satisfying to see Letitia James absolutely thrash him. And his kids.
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‘Lynching,’ Blackface And An Afro Wig: Black Cops Terrorized By Racist White Coworkers, Lawsuit Says was originally published on newsone.com