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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Central Valley | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Womyn
Fresno Police Chief Accused of Racism
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is in some serious trouble over a lawsuit alleging he made multiple racist and sexist comments. The details are in the story.
Fresno Police Chief Accused of Racism
By Mike Rhodes
A lawsuit, filed in Fresno Superior Court on Thursday (February 24, 2011), says that Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer’s ringtone for Cynthia Sterling, an African-American former counsel member is a slave song: "Mammy's little baby loves short'nin' bread." The lawsuit also alleges that Dyer mimic's stereotypical slave dialect, making comments including; "yessa massa, I is yo pet" and "Um hum, I'm the mayor's boy, I'm the mayor's boy, yes'um, I'm the mayor's boy".
Dyer is alleged to have repeatedly made derogatory and racial comments and/or actions relating to different races, including, but not limited to African-Americans and Japanese, which include:
1. "You know brothers can't resist watermelons"
2. "You know brothers love melons"
3. Routinely refers to African-Americans as "Brothers"
4. During a meeting discussing fist strikes to the face, Dyer commented that fist strikes to the face should never occur, unless it is a brother, because brothers don't have bones in their noses.”
5. Dyer’s cellular phone ring tone for Blong Xiong, a Southeast Asian counsel member is an Oriental sounding ringtone.
6. Dyer refers to a female Japanese Police Department employee as his little Geisha Girl.
7. Dyer makes offensive and demeaning comments about women, including but
not limited to:
a) comments about police department employees clothes and cleavage
b) commenting that the employee, must be out looking for a husband.
C) comments about certain female police department employees never having to pay for drinks when they go out socially.
8. Dyer has made offensive remarks, relating to charging the County of Fresno an administrative fee for administering a grant, stating "Good, rape them, (laughing), and make them feel they liked it".
9. Dyer on numerous occasions, has demeaningly referred to City Hall being run like a "sorority", since the Mayor and her chiefs of staff are primarily women.
10. The Deputy City Manager required Police Department employees to place their hands upon Chief Dyer and pray over him in order to cast away evil spirits while at City Hall.
The lawsuit, which is available at http://media.fresnobee.com/smedia/2011/02/24/16/DyerComplaint.source.prod_affiliate.8.pdf
and was filed on behalf of Robert Nevarez and Sharon Shaffer, who both work for the Fresno Police Department.
Dyer’s attorney responded by saying that the allegations have been investigated and that they dispute what Nevarez and Shaffer have said. They claim that “the investigation lasted in excess of five months, with numerous persons interviewed by the investigator. Her conclusion was that she found no hostile work environment existed in the department. It is obvious that the plaintiffs are disappointed that their allegations were found to have no merit. Unfortunately, many of the comments that were alleged to have been made were either embellished, mistated, taken out of context, or never made.”
Nevarez and Shaffer, the plaintiffs in this case, have been on administrative leave since late last year. They are concerned about retaliation from Dyer if they return. The lawsuit states that the police chief has not responded well when confronted with other complaints: “an example of this threatening and bullying behavior includes, but is not limited to, during a staff meeting Dyer stated, he was sick and tired of the lawsuits against himself. Dyer stated he did not have much money, but would not go down without a gun fight. He further stated it was not enough to nick him, you would have to take out his carotid artery and he has lots of blood.”