Posted on October 29, 2007

HISD Officer Fired over Booklet

Jennifer Radcliffe, Houston Chronicle, October 26, 2007

A 34-year-old Houston Independent School District police officer was fired this week for creating and distributing a “Ghetto Handbook” to fellow police officers at a roll call meeting last spring, according to a report released Friday.

Roby Morris, a gang investigator who’s worked for HISD since 1999, was placed on paid leave in late August for handing out an eight-page pamphlet with “ebonics” definitions—something he told district investigators he did to get back at one of his bosses.

He explained that he is married to a black woman and that together they have three biracial children, according to the report on the investigation.

But HISD officials said that doesn’t excuse the offensive publication.


About a dozen employees received a copy of the pamphlet—subtitled “Wucha dun din now”—at a May 23 roll call meeting at Barnett Stadium. The document tells officers that learning the definitions will allow them to speak “as if you just came out of the hood.”


The report also said that Morris’ supervisors spoke to him shortly after the incident and issued a written reprimand in June.


But some activists said they don’t plan to let the issue rest. They plan to push HISD to take action against Morris’ supervisors, including the police chief, for not issuing a harsher punishment in the spring.


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