Black officers say Black police chief was really a political stooge
The term “Black on Black crime” is taking on a very different meaning at one police department in Arkansas.
On Monday, four black officers in Little Rock filed a discrimination suit against the city. The officers are alleging that their African-American police chief is far more willing to discipline or harass fellow Black officers in a misguided attempt to “relieve white folks of a lot of their guilt.”
According to the Arkansas Times Lieutenant Earnest Whitten and sergeants Derrick Threadgill and Willie Davis, and ex-officer Jackie Parker all claim they fell victim to “disparate” treatment due to both their age and race.
An uneasy workspace
Even though Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner isn’t named as a defendant in the federal lawsuit, the officers believe they were subjected to a hostile work environment as retaliation against their complaints.
They also claim Buckner targeted them because of their membership in the Little Rock Black Police Officers Association.
According to the BPOA’s website, the organization “was formed in 1978 by 10 black officers on the Little Rock Police Department to address the concerns of the existing issues and conditions within the Department that adversely affected black officers to the Department’s Administration, City Government Officials, and Community Leaders.”
Was chief an establishment stooge?
At a press event Monday morning, attorney Mike Laux explained how white political leaders used Buckner as a Black intermediary to avoid getting called out on overt racist tactics against the BPOA officers. As a result, Black LRPD officers seeking career advancement were often told to “be patient” when discussing salary increases or promotions.
Laux also shared how Davis’s January complaint to superior officers about a racist social media post from a white LRPD recruit got him a 10-day suspension.
“Rather than commend Seargeant Davis,” Laux added, “he was retaliated against and punished.”
“I don’t know if he has made his career out of being the African-American who is tough on African-Americans and thereby useful to white leadership,” Laux said of Buckner Monday. “He relieves white folks of a lot of their guilt.”
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