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Outside Investigator Hired To Look Into Police Department Over Racism Accusations

Bridgeport Police Department
Bridgeport Police Department
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Bridgeport Police Department

The city of Bridgeport said it has hired an outside investigator to look into claims of racism in its police department.

A Black officer’s group — called the Guardians — said Black officers are subjected to a hostile working environment and unfair workplace practices by Acting Chief Rebecca Garcia.

Reverend Stanley Lord is president of Bridgeport NAACP. He said he’s happy with the investigation, but ultimately he thinks the department may need federal oversight.

“We have too many incidents of people who aren’t qualified to sit in positions of power, and do not have the education, experience to sit in the positions they’re in. So it’s time for us to demand change, and if that means federal oversight, so be it,” Lord said.

A former police captain sued the department last month, saying former Chief A.J. Perez instilled a widespread culture of racism. The same captain who filed the lawsuit was investigated himself for racist comments before he retired in 2018.

Two former Black captains also have federal discrimination lawsuits against the department.