Two Brookline police officers claim they encountered racism while serving on the force.
7News reported that officers Estifanos Zerai-Misgun and Prentice Pilot say that fellow officers have recently made “racist comments” to them.
“I was in an unmarked cruiser when a lieutenant walked by me,” Zerai-Misgun told 7News. “When I said, ‘Hi Lieutenant, how are you?’ He said, ‘Who would put a black man behind one of these?'”
7News addedthat Officer Prentice Pilot told a fellow cop he “had applied for another job and received a vulgar comment” in response.
The Boston Globe reported that the town will hire an independent investigator to review the allegations.
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Brookline Board of Selectmen chairman Neil Wishinsky said that the complaints were deeply troubling, according to the Globe.
“Discrimination of retaliation in the workplace on the basis of race or other protected class or characteristic will not be tolerated in Brookline,” Wishinskyreportedly said in a statement. “Any employee who is found responsible for such conduct will be swiftly and appropriately disciplined.”
Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary said in a statement that his department “and all of our members are deeply concerned about the allegations of improper conduct made by two of our minority officers.”
O’Leary added that as soon as the complaints were levied, his department “promptly initiated investigations and took steps to address issues that were raised.”
He went on to say that the town has its own procedure for investigating complaints and will not comment furtheruntil that investigation is complete.
In addition to its internal investigation, authorities there in Brookline hired an outside consultant to “assist with assessing the overall climate of the department,” O’Leary said.
“These allegations, though disturbing, will be deal with,” O’Leary concluded, “and should not take away from the outstanding work the department and our members do on a daily basis.”