DeWayne Stancil (Photo: Courtesy eastbayexpress.com)
According to former police officer DeWayne Stancil, and proven by a settlement with San Leandro, California, the city has a big problem with racism. Months after receiving $314,000 in a settlement with the city after he filed a lawsuit claiming that his termination from the force was the result of racial discrimination, Stancil is speaking out and encouraging others to come forward.
“Somebody had to step up, and if I had to do it over again, absolutely I would,” Stancil told local news outlet KTVU.
Stancil, 39, had risen through the ranks of the San Leandro Police Department for nearly 10 years to become the only Black sergeant in the force in 2007. That’s when he says co-workers began to taunt him; calling him “stupid” and suggesting that he talked too “ghetto.” Stancil said that as the harassment escalated several of his co-workers refused to work with him.
According to Stancil’s lawyer, the white officers "could not accept the fact that a Black man had been promoted before them. They went to extreme lengths to take him down,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
When Stancil complained about his treatment, he was demoted and then fired.
While he claimed harassment, Stancil was the subject tof sexual discrimination allegations. In 2009, a group of female officers filed a lawsuit against the city implicating Stancil. However, Stancil says those allegations were rooted in racism. The city settled with the women for $405,000 and released a statement saying that the incident was the result of “unfortunate misunderstandings that may have led to ill-considered allegations.” The San Leandro police department said it has hired an outside consultant to conduct future hiring and testing to ensure a more diverse police force.