Bay Area officers allege bias by former chief

Nov 16, 2013, 10:06 PM

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) – Four African-American police officers in this San Francisco Bay Area city have filed a racial discrimination complaint against the former police chief, who is also black.

The complaint was sent to East Palo Alto officials after police Chief Ron Davis announced last month that he was leaving for a federal job in Washington, D.C., according to the Palo Alto Daily News (

Davis left his post in this city of about 28,000 about 30 miles south of San Francisco to become director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Community Policing. A phone message and email to the office seeking comment weren’t immediately returned. The office’s website says he was sworn in on Nov. 12.

In the Nov. 1 complaint, the four officers accuse Davis of creating a hostile work environment for black employees and showing bias in hiring, promotions and assignments.

“His temperament toward African-American employees is abrasive, belittling and dismissive,” according to the three-page complaint by Sgts. Roderick Norris and Renaldo Rhodes and Officers Paul Norris and Paul Hines.

Assistant City Manager Barbara Powell told the Daily News that she couldn’t talk about the complaint because it’s a confidential personnel matter.

“The city takes this very seriously, and the city will be following up on it,” Powell said.

The newspaper said Davis could not be reached for comment.

A police department dispatcher told The Associated Press that neither its new police chief nor other administrative staff members were on duty Saturday. A phone message seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The three-page letter to Powell cites several examples of Davis’ actions or behaviors that the officers allege support their claims of racial discrimination.

The complaint says African-American senior officers are routinely passed over for sergeant positions, there are no black detectives in the investigative division, and only one black police officer was hired from mid-2005 to mid-2013.

“The examples that have been cited are a minute glimpse into the ongoing suffering endured by African American employees since Chief Davis took over the department,” the complaint states.

During his 8 1/2-year tenure in East Palo Alto, Davis was credited for implementing progressive anti-crime initiatives and reducing the city’s high murder rate.


Information from: Palo Alto Daily News,

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)...
Associated Press

Lucky player in Washington wins $754.6M Powerball prize

Someone in Washington state overcame steep odds Monday night to win a $754.6 million Powerball jackpot.
7 hours ago
This photo taken with a drone shows portions of a Norfolk and Southern freight train that derailed ...
Associated Press

Release of toxic chemicals from derailed tanker cars begins in Ohio

Crews began releasing toxic chemicals into the air from five derailed tanker cars that were in danger of exploding Monday.
1 day ago
Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) delivers remarks in the House Chamber during the third day of elections ...
Kevin Stone

Rep. Juan Ciscomani of Arizona to give GOP Spanish rebuttal to Biden speech

Freshman U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani of Arizona will deliver the Republican Spanish rebuttal to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)...
Associated Press

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

The Democrats' winning formula is in jeopardy ahead of the 2024 election after Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s divorce from the party.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)...
Associated Press

US officials offer Congress briefing on Biden, Trump papers

The Biden administration has offered to brief congressional leaders on its investigation into the classified documents.
2 days ago
FILE - Mega Millions lottery tickets and a wager slip are displayed, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Derry...
Arizona Sports

Drawing nears for $700M Powerball prize, 10th biggest in US

Another huge lottery jackpot will be on the line Saturday for players willing to put up $2 vs. daunting odds of actually winning the prize.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Bay Area officers allege bias by former chief