An investigation by the Appeal reveals what appears to be a rampant culture of race discrimination in the Columbus, Ohio police department.
One telling example: In 2016, a white officer joked about bombing a Black Lives Matter protest, writing “Anybody know where I can get some C-4???" on another officer's Facebook page. The ill-advised joke about bombing black protestors led to a complaint, which was deemed "unfounded" by the department. Another officer received a mere reprimand after using the n-word.
Meanwhile, when high-ranking black female officer Lt. Melissa McFadden made a joke about avoiding "black-on-black crime" when rating the performance of another black officer, she was accused of creating a "hostile work environment." The police department has recommended her termination.
Columbus has a large black population, but that demographic reality is not reflected in the police department: the top brass is almost entirely white. McFadden and other officers interviewed by the Appeal say she's being targeted for helping other black officers file discrimination lawsuits.
McFadden, who's been with the division for 22 years, was said to have a "black-militancy" mindset in an internal report. It's not clear what that determination refers to. But McFadden had criticized white and occasionally black cops for unfairly targeting blacks in the community, the Ohio Dispatch reports.
Her lawyer pointed to the shocking hypocrisy in McFadden's treatment by the department.
“White officers have been deemed credible when they have been involved in racist or racially charged incidents. It’s unfortunate they would treat her differently but they did,” attorney John Marshall told The Dispatch. “If the Fraternal Order of Police is doing its job as it has done for so many white officers, they will take this as far as it will go, including arbitration.”