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Report finds that racism did not play a role in police academy firings

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A report commissioned by the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners has found that racism did not factor in the termination of several black cadets from the police academy.

The investigation was ordered after complaints by several cadets alleged that black cadets are routinely terminated for minor infractions, such as not having polished shoes, or not having a pencil during class.

Gerry Carmody of the law firm Carmody-MacDonald led the investigation.

"Our charge was to determine if discipline was issued with a racial bias and we simply found no evidence that it was," said Carmody.

Carmody did stipulate that punishments were not always applied on a consistent basis, but that was simply a factor of some instructors being more strict than others. He said the reprimands that were issued did not unfairly single out black cadets.

A complaint filed by the Ethical Society of Police alleges that blacks are often unfairly disciplined for minor infractions.

Eddie Simmons is the President of the Ethical Society of Police says that several black cadets have been fired for minor infractions, or what the academy calls "memos".

"We were the only ones that were being fired for memos," explains Simmons.

"Nobody white was fired for shoes not being shined, a pencil's not on your desk, you didn't answer a question. There was nobody white that was fired for memos."

The report from Carmody-MacDonald recommends that the Academy develop a reprimand police that can be evenly applied to all cadets thereby eliminating even the appearance of racism.