Anger in #Ferguson follows record of racial disparity |The Rachel @Maddow Show |msnbc

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Blogger’s Note:

At the top of this segment, Rachel Maddow recounts the story of a police sergeant who is retaliated against for whistle-blowing against a powerful lieutenant who was in the habit of instituting “Black Days” in which he gave orders to fill the jails with blacks picked up at malls and other public places.

The story was broken by the St. Louis Sentinel Dispatch. Here are a few paragraphs from it. A link to the rest of the article follows:

Whistleblower in St. Louis County police racial profiling probe alleges retaliation

 • For months, he’s been known only as “Lonewolf” — the name he signed on a series of anonymous letters alleging a veteran police lieutenant ordered officers in the St. Louis County Police Department’s South County precinct to target African-Americans at shopping destinations there.

On Tuesday, Sgt. Daniel O’Neil revealed his name publicly in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — the first step toward filing a discrimination lawsuit against the police department, which O’Neil says has targeted him ever since learning he wrote the letters.

“The stress of knowing everyone there wants your head has turned me into a nervous wreck,” O’Neil said in an interview Tuesday with his attorney, Jerome Dobson, present.

O’Neil’s complaint to the federal agency includes allegations of “unwarranted write-ups” and complaints put inside his personnel file, an impromptu drug test, revocation of his take-home car and a transfer out of the district closest to his home — actions that took place in “rapid succession” after O’Neil revealed his identity during the internal affairs investigation into Hayes’ conduct, Dobson said.

“One would think that a department would thank a veteran officer for his courage to blow the whistle on this wrongdoing rather than harass him with this trumped up discipline,” Dobson said. “They have created this atmosphere of intimidation in the department. Who’s going to want to come forward after seeing what happened to Dan?”

Police Chief Tim Fitch declined to comment on O’Neil’s allegations specifically, but spoke to routine department policies and said he’s “confident” the department’s rules have been followed throughout all aspects of the investigation.

O’Neil’s anonymous letters, which began arriving in the chief’s office in December, alleged that Hayes ordered officers to arrest blacks in and around the South County Shopping Center as well as a nearby Walmart. Both Hayes and O’Neil are white.

Other officers corroborated O’Neil’s claims during the internal investigation, which determined Hayes violated department policies when using “inappropriate racial references” while issuing the orders. He was fired May 13. No officers followed racially-based orders, Fitch says.

Fitch plans to enlist a team of researchers from the University of California Los Angeles’ Consortium for Policing Leadership in Equity to study the department’s arrest data to ensure racial profiling isn’t occurring. The group offers the analysis for free thanks to grant funds, according to its website. O’Neil’s attorney said anecdotal information and an examination of arrest data will back up O’Neil’s claims of racial profiling. [ … ]

Read the rest of this article on the St. Louis


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