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Fayetteville Council Takes Steps to Investigate Charges of Police Racism

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FAYETTEVILLE — Allegations of racism in theFayetteville Police Department have surfaced again, and this time the citycouncil has decided to get involved.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peopleaccuses the department of having a racially hostile workenvironment, claiming there's discrimination and reprisals for those whoblow the whistle. The NAACP told the council the police department firedone officer and punished others for speaking out aboutdiscrimination.

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

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

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

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

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