Dated: Tuesday April 13, 2021
With the recent arbitrary reassignment of Officer Shanette Hall of the St. Louis County Police Department from a specialized unit dedicated to increasing diversity within the agency, a total of three (3) members of the executive staff of the Ethical Society of Police, an organization dedicated to addressing racial discrimination and bias in both the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department, have now fallen prey to the retaliatory whims of the leadership of the St. Louis County Police Department, with current Chief Mary Barton seemingly using the same playbook as her predecessor to punish whistle blowers and serve as a deterrent for others that may consider publicly speaking up about the racially divisive culture of their agency.
This now makes four (4) members of the Ethical Society of Police who have suffered retaliatory action or have filed litigation against the St. Louis County Police Department. Consequently, one must now wonder about the attitude and perception that agency administrators, command and supervisory staff have towards the citizens of color whom they have allegedly sworn to “Protect and Serve,” as they seem to have little or no positive attitudes or perceptions of the officers of color whom they employ.
Chief Barton’s blatant statement that “There is no systemic racism within the department” must be recognized for the falsehood that it most certainly is, particularly in light of the recently released Teneo Risk Advisory Report which determined, without any shred of doubt, the factual existence of a serious racial divide within the agency.
“Chief Barton has shown her willingness and specific desires to discriminate and retaliate against any Black officer who speaks out against the racially divisive atmosphere that she has allowed to grow and permeate her agency and as such deserves no trust or confidence from those she has been hired to lead,” stated Lieut. Charles P. Wilson (Ret.), National Chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc.
As a chapter member of NABLEO, we support and stand in solidarity with Officer Shanette Hall and others from the Ethical Society of Police in their vote of “No Confidence” of the administration and leadership of Chief Mary Barton of the St. Louis County Police Department. When the leadership of an agency shows a continuing failure to adequately address issues specific to Black members of the Department and community, resulting in rampant episodes of racism throughout the agency, and the continuing disparate treatment of officers of color within the agency, it is clear that there is an obvious level of intentional administrative retaliation and indifference to resolving a known racially biased atmosphere. There can be no trust or confidence in that type of leadership.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc, a 501.(c).(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.
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