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Old 09-02-2007, 10:45 AM   #1
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Houston Police Officer Suspended Over "Ghetto Handbook"

Officer suspended over 'Ghetto Handbook'

HOUSTON (AP) — A school district suspended a police officer as it investigates his distribution of a "Ghetto Handbook" and the three-month lapse before top district officials were informed of it.

The eight-page booklet, subtitled "Wucha dun did now?", was handed out to about 15 Houston Independent School District police officers at a May meeting, district spokesman Terry Abbott said. Officials declined to identify the officer who handed them out, but said he had been ordered to attend diversity training.

A supervisor immediately collected the booklets, Abbott said, but district officials said they didn't learn about the incident until someone complained to the district's Equal Employment Opportunity Office in mid-August.

"This publication was completely reprehensible and HISD condemns it in the strongest possible terms," Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said in a written statement Thursday.

He said he has "mounted a very aggressive investigation."

District Police Chief Charles Wiley had no comment, Abbott said.

The booklet billed itself as a guide to Ebonics, teaching the reader to speak "as if you just came out of the hood." It included definitions such as "foty: a 40-ounce bottle of beer"; "aks: to ask a question"; and "hoodrat: scummy girl."

The booklet names six district officers "and the entire day shift patrol" as contributors. Abbott said a preliminary investigation has cleared those officers of involvement.

Last year, almost 30% of the district's 202,000 students were black and almost 60% were Hispanic.

Carol Mims Galloway, president of the Houston NAACP chapter, said the officer who created the book should be severely punished or fired.

"It was really a slap in the African-American community's face," said Galloway, who is running for the school board.

"We're paying their salaries with our tax dollars," Galloway said of the district police. "It does reflect on the district."

School board member Larry Marshall said the document was inappropriate, even if it was meant to be a joke.

"These are very racially sensitive times," he said. "It was a huge mistake in judgment."
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:17 PM   #2
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Sigh.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:19 PM   #3
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How do you investigate very aggressively?
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:42 AM   #4
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people need to get some fucking humour!
just laugh about it!
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:32 AM   #5
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It goes right to the trust factor. If I'm part of those minorities and have a problem, I might not be inclined to look to these police officers to look out for my interests. I also might not be inclined to offer any cooperation.

Sure, it's a joke. But there's an attitude behind the joke that erodes trust. I'm not saying these are awful people. But it was lousy judgment. And one of the things you look for in your police officers is judgment.

I don't know that I'd fire him. Maybe he's a good cop in general (maybe not). Was there a pattern to his behavior or is this an isolated incident? But I think at the very least, he's going to have to face these groups and make an apology.

Of course naming other officers as contributors to the booklet when they apparently were not and subjecting them to investigation may not endear him to his fellow officers, making him doubly ineffective.

Stupid fuck.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:25 AM   #6
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I don't get it? So he makes a funny joke book about the grossly over the top stereotypical people out there, and he has to apologise? To who? For what?
I just really don't see what the big deal is?

I just think people are way oversensitive to so many things now adays
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #7
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We give police officers a ton of authority. This officer doesn't just represent himself. He represents the community for which he works whether he likes it or not. If the school director had written this booklet, he would have likely been fired and rightfully so.

If I'm doing the math right, 90% of the students in the school district are minorities. The booklet was disrespectful to these minorities and minors. This booklet was distributed at a meeting. This is likely to affect how the student body reacts to the police officer(s). It is often a delicate relationship at best. This police officer's booklet was making it an us and them.

This country has a racial past and a racial present. I'm not for total PC, I don't practice total PC, but I am aware of the tensions in this country and the behaviors that often result from these attitudes. And if I were one of these students, I would expect that this booklet was the product of an underlying attitude toward the students. I would not trust that I'd be getting equal treatment or equal protection from this officer (though maybe he is capable of doing do). Part of the necessary trust between police and community is perception. The police officer endangered that trust. Maybe it would be oversensitive reaction if there was no history behind it. And maybe it is an oversensitive reaction, but it is a reaction that should have been anticipated and avoided. In short, the officer was a stupid fuck.
Anything written down and distributed has a way of getting distributed to people you didn't want to see it.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:13 AM   #8
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was it actually a joke or was he trying to be serious?

if it was a joke, well then that's just behavior that a person in that person's authority can not do, wether you believe it to be funny or not. he's a police officer, not a comedian.

if it wasn't a joke... i don't totaly see the problem with it. fact of the matter is that kids today, of all races mind you, can some times have a language of all their own. to try and better understand the people you're protecting and serving is not neccesarily a bad thing.

to call it the "ghetto handbook," now that's just stupid.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:35 AM   #9
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I think the line(assuming it is in there) to teach the reader to speak "as if you just came out of the hood" probably hurts its credibility as a serious linguistics resource.

I take your point, however, to a point.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:00 PM   #10
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no one ever said it was well written

but if it wasn't a joke... at least the intent has some merrit to it.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:50 PM   #11
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I still can't get over the fact that a school district has its own police.

I agree with both of you, as a joke it's pretty stupid considering the author, but on the other hand it would be useful to know the language of the youth when you have to deal with them every day.
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:20 PM   #12
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i believe it's a specific unit of the houston city police. most metro area police departments have them these days.
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