POSTED: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 4:11pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 1, 2013 - 10:09am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The fall out from the firing of former BRPD Chief Dewayne White continued Friday. At his hearing last month White made several claims of racism in the police department, allegations that had many leaders in the Black community concerned.
"As a council we have an obligation to investigate those allegations. They were serious allegations and they were something certainly I don't support. The allegations, if they're real than we need to look at that," said councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle.
White claimed racism was prevalent in most aspects of the department, from the hiring to everyday operations, accusations leaders feel could be true.
"I’ve seen many African Americans and women that come and say they've been discriminated against and basically nothing is being done about it," Marcelle shared.
"We see the (academy) classes are diverse, but at the end of the day when individuals are inducted in to the class we're not seeing a large enough class that makes it for our community," added Kwame Asante, NAACP president.
Friday the local NAACP chapter and three metro-council members asked the mayor to create a community board. The board would oversee and weed out racism in the department and in the hiring process.
"Our goal is to make sure that the next hiring class and next recruitment class of officers who are inducted begin to reflect more diversity in the community," Asante said.
Leaders have said they also want to hold public forums and recruit more minorities to apply for positions in the department.
Marcelle shared with us that she has already gone to the Department of Justice with her concerns, but she and others want to see something done soon at the local level.
" We should have made more progress and we need to know why we have not done that," Marcelle said.
Interim police chief Carl Dabadie tells us he's already been in talks with the local naacp chapter and hopes to meet with them soon to talk about race relations in the department.
Mayor Holden released a statement to the media, defending the departments recruiting process.
“Our administration has held job fairs throughout the parish to recruit a diverse pool of applicants for all city-parish jobs....our goal for all city-parish departments continues to be a qualified, diverse work force and my department heads know this is a top priority of our administration.”