Police union responds to chief's interview
BATON ROUGE - The head of the Baton Rouge police officers union said today that recent comments from Chief Dwayne White about racial profiling in the department went too far.
President Chris Stewart gave his response on the WJBO morning show with Clay Young and Kevin Meeks, the same radio program White was on last week when he said he was having to combat racial profiling among his officers.
"We got a lot of push back from our membership," Stewart said today. "They were very upset, felt like he painted with a broad brush."
Last week Chief White suggested officers may unconsciously treat African-Americans differently due to the high amount of criminal activity reported in the black community. Today he told News 2 that while he may have been too broad by saying 10 percent of his officers could have issues with racial profiling, there is documentation that proves it exists.
"I do see the IA (Internal Affairs) complaints that come across my desk that seem to suggest that we may have more officers than I like that are insensitive," he said. "Reputation is how people see you. Character is what you really are... I want our character to be the same as our reputation."
Stewart agreed this morning that profiling needed to be dealt with, if it exists at the Baton Rouge Police Department.
"If there is such a problem out there, as noted by the chief... then we need to address that problem immediately," he said.