Police Chief Selection Highlights Need for Community Control
Yet, despite all of the rhetoric around “community policing” that has come from the Berke Administration and the CPD under Fletcher’s leadership, the Berke-appointed search committee has chosen a finalist from the LAPD and either failed to do a simple google search or ignored the fact that Captain Todd Chamberlain was implicated in a widely reported-on racial discrimination lawsuit filed by former Black LAPD Officer Earl Wright. Wright experienced racial harassment and retaliation from white officers in the Central Station where Chamberlain, also white, was command staff. In the lawsuit, which resulted in a 12-0 decision and a $1.2 million damage award to Wright, Chamberlain was accused of condoning a racist culture by ignoring requests to file complaints against the officers who engaged in racist behavior. He was even himself directly accused of stating at a public community relations meeting that he “did not want officers hiding out at the 7-Eleven drinking watermelon slurppies”- invoking the stereotype of African-Americans and watermelons. One of the incidents that Chamberlain failed to discipline an officer for was placing a piece of fried chicken and a slice of watermelon in a cake that was supposed to honor Wright’s 20th Anniversary of service to the LAPD.
Click the tabs below to see CCJ’s full answers to the followup questions asked by the Times Free Press for their July 19th story