The story below is troubling. Not because it's yet another story about racism in A-merry-ca, *yawn* but because the allegations of racism were leveled at a Police Chief of a fairly large town. And even more troubling , the charges are being made by some of his own officers.
This is a complaint in a lawsuit, so take it for what it's worth. Still, I can't help but read it and think about all those township cops and state troopers in Jersey, and the accusations of profiling in the past. I have been stopped in the garden state a couple of times myself, and fortunately, I had all my shit together, so I didn't end up in the back of a squad car with some racist cop. Remember this story, and others like it about racial profiling along the Jersey Turnpike? Well, it's why I worry when I read stories like this.
But if any of these allegations are true, Chief Carmen LaBruno should not be leading a city police department in New Jersey--- or in Mississippi for that matter. And if you think Chief LaBruno is alone; I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.
So here is the story from the AP:
Five Hoboken police officers are accusing one of their superiors of being an "unabashed white supremacist" who routinely used racial slurs and, during a trip to Louisiana as part of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, donned a mock Ku Klux Klan hood and uttered the "n-word" within earshot of an African-American couple in a restaurant.
In a lawsuit filed today in federal court in Newark, the plaintiffs - five Hispanic members of the department - say Lt. Angelo Andriani intimidated them with his racist behavior.
Andriani, the plaintiffs allege, would often express disapproval of interracial couples, calling white women who dated black men "pigs."
Among the bombshells in the lawsuit is the allegation that during a trip to deliver relief supplies to Kenner, La., in November 2005, Andriani used racial slurs at a restaurant while the Hoboken contingent was dining with a Kenner city councilwoman.
During that meal, the suit contends, while an African-American couple sat nearby, Andriani used the n-word and cut two holes out of a napkin, which he put in front of his face to make it look like a KKK hood.
The officers suing are detectives Mario Novo, George Fonseca, James Perez, Cesar Olavaria, and Sgt. Edwin Pantoja.
My only question would be what took them so long to bring the lawsuit in the first place? Still, I wish them luck with it. Although sadly, given the history of these types of complaints, they will need it.