Problem is, the department isn’t sure if the slur “negro” is offensive or not. Go figure.
It all began when 2 On Your Side received a mugshot of a man suspected of a shooting. On the mugshot, the man is labeled as a “dark negro.”
The mug shot was of 19-year-old Shamir Allen. He’s a suspect in several shootings in the city. We looked further on the mug shot and found next to line labeled “complexion,” that Allen is listed as a “negro.” Next to negro it reads “DA”
According to Lockport Police, this means dark.
So, Shamir Allen, a 19-year-old suspect is listed as a “dark negro,” in the Lockport Police database.
Yes. That happened. To make matters worse, the police department, apparently unclear about the historical context of the word, decided to post this now deleted status on Facebook:
The responses were exactly what you would expect:
And to clear things up, you know, as not to seem like racists or anything, the police department let it be known that they had license to ask this question — the man asking was the authority. An African-American.
Oh, goody. Because that makes it OK.
When 2 On Your Side questioned the department about the use of “negro,” this was the shocking response:
REPORTER: Aren’t your officers aware that that type of terminology can be offensive to blacks?
EGGERT: I didn’t know it until I talked to you just now, I don’t ever use that term but I didn’t think it was an offensive term regardless.
The department has since agreed to remove the category “negro” from their database later this week. They will also facilitate diversity training in the next couple of weeks to explain to officers why the word negro is not acceptable to use.
By the way, it’s 2014. Just in case you forgot while reading this story.
SOURCE: WGRZ | PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook, Lockport Police