Prince George County MD Feb 4 2017 Dozens of officers with a Maryland police department signed a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice alleging racial discrimination within their department.
More than 70 officers who are members of the local chapters of the National Hispanic Law Enforcement Association and the United Black Police Officers Association signed the complaint alleging unfair promotional practices and unfair disciplining among white and minority officers.
The Prince George's County Police Department is forming a panel to review internal practices after the officers filed the complaint.
Police Chief Hank Stawinski has not received the complaint but is proactively creating the panel, police sources said. The goal of the panel is ensuring fair practices.
"The panel is a collaborative effort that has been months in the making," Assistant Chief Hector Velez said in a statement released after News4 reported the complaint on Twitter. "If the panel discovers any concerns or issues, the chief wants to know. ... The department is strong because of the men and women who make up our ranks. The Chief wants to hear from them directly."
The department’s independent Inspector General and a representative from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89 will co-chair the panel, which will include union representatives and members of institutions outside the police department.