Local News

Fayetteville Council Takes Steps to Investigate Charges of Police Racism

Posted January 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Allegations of racism in the Fayetteville Police Department have surfaced again, and this time the city council has decided to get involved.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People accuses the department of having a racially hostile work environment, claiming there's discrimination and reprisals for those who blow the whistle. The NAACP told the council the police department fired one officer and punished others for speaking out about discrimination.

At Monday's meeting, the council asked for the personnel files of three officers who allege racism in the police department. It will review those files and decide who, if anyone, should investigate further.

About a hundred police officers attended the meeting where council members listened to charges and counter-charges.

City Manager John Smith defends the actions taken against the three black officers. The police department says the charges of racism are unfounded. Police Chief Ron Hansen said he thinks members of the NAACP are out for his job.

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also launched a probe into this matter.