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Discrimination Complaint Against Prince George’s Co. Police Dept. Includes Anti-Obama License Plate

gfyobmapolicesergeantslicenseplateA complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice by dozens of Prince George’s County police officers alleging discrimination within the department includes a training dummy depicting a black man and a sergeant’s seemingly vulgar anti-President Barack Obama license plates.

The 300-page complaint sent to the Justice Department in October includes a picture of an internal affairs sergeant’s license plate with letters that seem to stand for “go f— yourself Obama.”

At least one officer was concerned the plates’ reference to the former president is offensive to officers and residents living in a majority black county that largely supported Obama.

Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said the license plates were removed from the sergeant’s personal vehicle within 72 hours after the chief learned of them. He said it was suggested to him that the letters stood for “good for you Obama,” but he immediately rejected that idea and prohibited the vehicle from parking on county property.

“I found that repulsive. Repulsive,” Stawinski said. “It does not represent the ideals, the policies and the practices of the Prince George’s County Police Department.”

Police Chief Responds to Discrimination ComplaintPolice Chief Responds to Discrimination Complaint

The Prince George’s County police chief says it’s his job to make sure employees feel valued after dozens of officers filed a complaint alleging discrimination within the department. News4′ Shomari Stone reports.

(Published Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017)

The plates were recalled after a citizen complaint, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration.

“In reviewing the records of the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), it has come to our attention that Personalized Plate GFYOBMA has been issued in error,” a spokesman said in a statement.

The MVA told News4, “MVA records indicate that the personalized plate was not returned, therefore MVA will send a pick up detail from MVA.”

A county police spokesman said the sergeant who had the plate is also a private citizen and the plates were issued by the state of Maryland.

The MVA said the personalized plates are often done electronically, allowing offensive plates to slip through sometimes. They said this was an example of that.

Another picture in the complaint shows a training dummy with an Afro and a picture of a black man’s face taped to it. It was taken inside a Prince George’s County Police Department training facility.

It was a defensive tactics mannequin that can be used to train for a variety of situations as a suspect or a victim, Stawinski said. At a news conference at  5 p.m. Thursday, he said the wig was a black, curly wig and he showed a picture of it on another mannequin that appeared to be white in a scenario as a victim with a gunman behind it.

Prince George’s County police were not the only officers with access to the facility, a department spokesman said.

Those training materials and that facility are no longer in use, Stawinski said.

The Justice Department reviewed the complaint Wednesday. Representatives with the DOJ’s Community Service Division met with officers who filed the complaint and the leadership of the Prince George’s County branch of the NAACP.

There is still no word on whether the Justice Department will officially investigate the filing, which includes up to 90 officers.

The department sent a letter to the Justice Department saying it is eager to assist in the investigation, Stawinski said.

“We have been trying diligently to get information to address and we’ve received nothing,” Stawinski said.

Last week, Stawinski announced the creation of a panel to review internal practices and ensure fairness. The panel was not created in reaction to the complaint, police said.

“If we find wrongdoing, we will address it,” Stawinksi said Thursday.

The department’s independent Inspector General and a representative from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89 are co-chairing the panel, which will include union representatives and members of institutions outside the police department.

The officers who signed the complaint are members of the local chapters of the National Hispanic Law Enforcement Association and the United Black Police Officers Association.

Another of their concerns is that complaints filed against minority officers are handled more harshly than complaints filed against white officers, ACLU of Maryland Public Policy Director Toni Holness told News4 last week.

Source: Discrimination Complaint Against Prince George’s Co. Police Dept. Includes Training Dummy Depicting Black Man, Anti-Obama License Plate | NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Discrimination-Complaint-Against-Prince-Georges-Co-Police-Department-Includes-Training-Dummy-Depicting-Black-Man-Anti-Obama-License-Plate-413328873.html#ixzz4YHRLoZJ6

Full-Length Press Conference With Police Chief Hank Stawinski




Pgcps Teen Who Stabbed Classmate Was Bullied, Student Says


The 14-year-old boy accused of stabbing a 16-year-old classmate at a Maryland high school Tuesday morning was fed up with relentless bullying, a student who witnessed the incident said.
The student who reportedly stabbed another teen tried to avoid a fight but defended himself when the other youth refused to back down, a student at Frederick Douglass High School in Upper Marlboro told NBC4.

“He told him to leave him alone and to get away, and that he didn’t want to fight,” the student said about the incident caught on cellphone video. NBC4 is protecting his identity.

“The kid who did the stabbing was trying to defend himself, then finally the knife made its appearance and the other student was stabbed. He didn’t realize he was stabbed until later, and he kept hitting and hitting,” the classmate said.

Witness Says Bullying May Have Led To High School StabbingWitness Says Bullying May Have Led To High School Stabbing.

The 14-year-old boy accused of stabbing a 16-year-old classmate at a Maryland high school Tuesday morning was fed up with relentless bullying, a student who witnessed the incident said. NBC4 Prince George’s County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports. (Published Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015)
Alvin Butler of Bowie, Maryland said he created a program to help schools cope with bullying. Text 2 Stop It lets students anonymously report by text their problems with bullies.

“You ask them a question, ‘How did it go today’ and you get, “Good, fine,'” Butler said. ”If you want to find out what’s going on, text them and then you’ll see they’re ready for conversation they wouldn’t have verbally.”

The program that costs $1.25 per student per year is in use in Queen Anne County schools, but Prince George’s County schools turned it down.
Prince George’s County Schools spokeswoman Keesha Bullock said the schools already have a comprehensive system for dealing with bullying.

“We don’t believe that we have a wide-spread problem, and we encourage people to report it as much as we can so we can take appropriate action,” she said.

The student who was stabbed is recovering from his injuries. The accused stabber is being charged as a juvenile. NBC4 learned today that four additional students have been suspended for the rest of the school year because of their involvement in the incident.

The family of a 9-year-old girl in Landover, Maryland is suing Prince George’s County for $10 million after a classmate beat her on a bus and the bus driver reportedly ignored little Saraia Collins’ cries for help.

via NBC 4


NBC4 and WTOP Create Groundbreaking News Partnership.


NBC4 and WTOP are joining forces to create a groundbreaking new partnership for D.C.-area TV viewers, radio listeners and social media users.

Kicking off March 25, the partnership will combine the resources of two powerhouse news organizations and their award-winning journalists, providing in-depth content on multiple platforms. The initiative will provide comprehensive coverage of news, weather and traffic on TV, radio, online and on mobile devices.

NBC4 and WTOP will team up to cover breaking news in a collaborative way that’s unprecedented in the D.C. area, and reporters from both NBC4 and WTOP will be showcased on each other’s newscasts.

NBC4’s Storm Team 4 meteorologists will provide forecasts every 10 minutes on the eights on WTOP. They’ll also be featured on WTOP.com and on WTOP’s social media accounts.

“The combined forces of two dynamic, cutting edge newsrooms working together on all platforms will be powerful,” said Jackie Bradford, president and general manager of NBC4. “This partnership will serve people throughout the Washington area well by delivering them the most up-to-date local news, information and weather.”

WTOP Senior Vice President and General Manager Joel Oxley added, “The Washington region is the most educated and information-hungry market in America. WTOP and NBC4 are committed to serving the needs of our community with timely, accurate news from the most trusted teams of journalists in the nation’s capital.”

>>> NBC4