Spokane City Council kicks Rachel Dolezal out of Spokane police oversight group
The city council in Spokane, Washington, voted on Thursday to remove civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal, who drew national attention over her racial identity, from a police oversight commission over conduct violations, a city spokesman said.
The decision comes after investigators hired by Spokane to investigate allegations of misconduct found Dolezal had publicly named citizens who made complaints against police officers, in violation of confidentiality rules.
The lawyers, in investigating an April 16 whistleblower complaint, also found that the city employee who filed the complaint had faced intimidating and offensive behavior from Dolezal, who was the head of the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, and two other commission members.
Six members of the Spokane City Council voted unanimously to remove Dolezal during a special session on Thursday afternoon, city spokesman Brian Coddington said.
Spokane Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart had called for Dolezal’s resignation on Wednesday.
Dolezal, 37, resigned this week as president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a leading civil rights organization, amid reports she was falsely claiming to be African-American.
Dolezal has told U.S. media she identifies as black, and the controversy has triggered a national debate over the bounds of racial identity and self-identification.
She was raised in a home with adopted black siblings and attended historically black Howard University, according to a white couple who told U.S. media they are her biological parents.
Dolezal said earlier this week she was “sincerely troubled by the short-sighted conclusions that have so quickly been made with this report,” according to Spokane-area broadcaster KHQ.
“I stand by my work on behalf of the citizens of Spokane to further justice and promote civilian oversight of law enforcement,” she said, according to the station.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)