Waterloo, Iowa’s first black police chief is facing opposition from some current and former officers as he seeks to collaborate with city leaders in his department’s reform efforts.
One of them Joel Fitzgeralds Reforms include removing its long-lasting mark that resembles a Ku Klox Clan dragon. During his 16-month tenure as department chief, he said he was an example of confronting a black police chief when they try to bridge a community with a history of ethnic division.
“I don’t think there are any small or medium-sized police chiefs in America who have endured it for whatever reason, and I think the nation must have a relationship with the reasons,” said Fort Worth, Texas and Allentown, Pennsylvania. Assistant Printing Press. “This is my fourth job as the first black police chief. I’ve tackled pushbacks elsewhere but never so clearly. Not so real. “
Jacinta Gow, A professor at the University of Central Florida and an expert on race and policing, police chiefs who try to reform their departments always face backlash when they historically have been black leaders in the white forces.
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According to the AP, he said, “The dynamics of energy in America have always been that blacks are subordinate to whites.” “When blacks take the lead, that energy dynamics goes to his head, and whites who used to feel comfortable in the status quo are now very threatened.”
Among those angry over Fitzgerald’s term are the Waterloo Police Union and a white City Council member who is running irresistibly. Quentin Hart, The city’s first black mayor, vows to overthrow Fitzgerald if elected. In addition, three of Fitzgerald’s predecessors as chief revealed in a letter that they were outraged at what had happened to the department, claiming that it had “exploded” and that morale had reached an all-time low.
Opponents of Fitzgerald have attacked everything from his salary, which is comparable to a similar mayor in Iowa, his off-duty trip to visit his family in Texas, where his teenage son continues treatment after having a brain tumor removed.
Since taking charge of the Waterloo Police Department, Fitzgerald has banned chokeholds, banned racial profiling, required all officers to intervene if they see excess power, and investigated all allegations of departmental misconduct.
According to NBC News, Fitzgerald is one of a handful of department officials who police 17 percent of African American cities. Member of the City Council Jonathan Grider He said the police chief has been slandered for claiming to love the police.
“We are fighting very real issues that have long been involved with race and power and policing,” he said. “I understand that some people have not had to deal with it yet. I understand that it is uncomfortable. ”