A group of Black Philadelphia cops have filed a complaint accusing supervisors of condoning a “racially hostile work environment in the Narcotics Unit.”
During a news conference at the Guardian Civic League headquarters Wednesday, Sept. 6, local attorney Brian R. Mildenberg announced that the officers involved have obtained legal counsel and are in the process of filing legal complaints against the department, according to The Philadelphia Tribune. The officers have already submitted a complaint to the city’s Human Relations Commission.
The group’s allegations paint the specialized division as one rampant with racist behavior and misconduct. For one, commanding officers of the narcotics unit, Chief Anthony Boyle and Inspector Raymond Evers, are accused of turning a blind eye to, and even condoning, racism. The filing also alleges that Boyle and Evers encouraged the violation of laws and directives within the unit and the falsification of documents and evidence related to drug arrests.
The inspectors regularly referred to nonwhite communities by derogatory terms like “scum” and likened the police killings of nonwhite civilians to “thinning the herd,” the complaint states. It further accuses the commanding officers of denying Black cops opportunities for overtime and beneficial shifts.
To make matters worse, the officers said they were subjected to harassment and disrespect to the point that they felt “a crisis of racial discrimination exists in the division.” Mildenberg also mentioned that a corporal was allowed to park his Confederate flag-emblazoned truck at the narcotics unit headquarters. That corporal was later told he could no longer park his car on city property, according to the newspaper.
“We feel that the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and slavery, and that it’s completely inappropriate for any Philadelphia police officer to endorse or display this flag,” group president Rochelle Bilal said at Wednesday’s news conference.
The department has declined to comment on the matter, citing possible litigation.
The group of officers hasn’t provided any evidence of their claims.