FBI Investigates Racism Charges Within Burbank Police Dept.

FBI Investigates Racism Charges Within Burbank Police Dept.

Published October 2, 2009

The FBI is looking into alleged civil rights violations by Burbank, Calif., Police.

The probe by the bureau’s civil rights division was launched even before seven lawsuits were filed by officers in the Burbank Police Department, alleging racial discrimination and retaliation, The Los Angeles Times reports. The police department brought in the L.A. Sheriff’s Department for an independent review of matter.

Mayor Gary Bric told the Times that he was confident that investigations of the Burbank Police Department, including an independent probe by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, would be thorough and complete. He said there would be no limits to investigators.

"I'm sure people are looking at this and have questions and concerns about what's happening to our Police Department," he said. "But we can assure there's been no impact on public safety."

According to the Times, the most recent suit was filed by Bill Taylor, who contends that he was bumped down to captain, from deputy chief, after supporting officers who had filed complaints against the department.

In July, the Times reports, Medal of Valor winner Christopher Lee Dunn sued the department, alleging that he was subjected to years of racial taunts and discouraged from joining the department's narcotics unit because he was not White. He argues that he was targeted by management before eventually being run out of the department, according to the newspaper. Two months before sued the department, five other officers sued. They said they were forced to work in an environment where they were subjected to constant slurs about race, ethnicity and sexual preference directed at them, their colleagues, suspects and the public at large, writes the Times.

Written by <P>By BET.com Staff</P>

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