Posted on May 12, 2006

DeKalb Police Union Charges Whites Held Back

David Simpson and Ernie Suggs, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 12, 2006

Police union officials Thursday accused the former second-ranking DeKalb County police commander of delaying promotions to hurt the careers of white officers.

Union officials released an audio recording purportedly containing the voice of former Assistant Chief R.P. Flemister asking someone: “Have you ever thought about why I ain’t promoted them nine on the list right now . . . because seven of them are white.”

Meanwhile, Elaine Boyer, the lone Republican remaining on the county commission, held a press conference Thursday to blast her fellow commissioners for issuing what she called a weak statement about turmoil at the police department that ignored the county’s prevailing problem — racism.

“When a white employee or a black employee places color first it is absolutely wrong,” said Boyer. “Others who are elected to lead our county must speak out to stop this. They have a moral obligation to.”

Police Chief Louis Graham resigned last week after police union leaders disclosed a profanity-laced audio recording of a conversation between Graham and Flemister in which Flemister referred to an unnamed person as a “white bitch.” Flemister retired last Friday.

In the recording released Thursday, a voice apparently belonging to Flemister says that “the white folks understand, [things] done changed. . . That’s what this union is about.”

Later, he says he is not worried about unspecified rumors about the police department because Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones is “running the black-[expletive] place.”