Lawsuit: Police chief condones white officers’ racism, abuse

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A federal lawsuit accuses police officials in a Washington, D.C., suburb of retaliating against black and Hispanic officers who complain about racist, abusive conduct by white officers.

Civil rights groups filed the suit Wednesday against Maryland’s Prince George’s County and its police chief, Henry Stawinski, on behalf of several current or former officers.

The suit accuses Stawinski of condoning misconduct and allowing racism to “thrive” in his department. It claims white officers used racist slurs, circulated text messages expressing a desire to “reinstitute lynching” and put a black face and Afro wig on a training dummy.

The chief promised in October 2017 that he would cooperate with a federal investigation of alleged discrimination against Hispanics and blacks in his department, and would end any “structures or practices” negatively impacting officers.

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