By Guy Page
A longtime critic of Burlington City Hall says a proposed racial quota for the Burlington Police Department is unconstitutional.
Burlington Police Commissioners Jabulani Gamache and Suzy Comerford have introduced a set of hiring recommendations they say are aimed at “an affirmative recruitment strategy that yields a rich and racially diverse pool of applicants and hires.” The motion recommends that BPD “set a goal of 20% non-white applicants and hires.”
The two police commissioners also call for an advisory commission to be established by next month to oversee the BPD hiring process.
In an email sent to the Police Commission today and copied to Vermont Daily Chronicle, fomer city employee Patrick Cashman wrote,”Racial hiring quotas are indisputably illegal. This is long settled law. The Police Commission motion is a patently illegal and unconstitutional directive to engage in hiring discrimination.”
“Such ignorant recidivist racist discrimination has no place in this day and age,” Cashman, now a Portland, Oregon resident, said. “I look forward to your campaign of education with the Police Commission to prevent further efforts to enact discriminatory hiring practices.
“Such blatantly corrupt discrimination puts not only the City but individuals at risk of action for deprivation of civil rights under color of law: 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights U.S. Code, which states, ‘Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law.'”
If the motion by Comerford and Gamache is approved by the rest of the Police Commission, it will then move on to the City Council for approval.
The Burlington City Council last year voted to reduce funding for Burlington police. Earlier this month the Council surrendered to public pressure to restore funding. Businesses and citizens had been complaining about the dramatic rise in crime.
Categories: Society & Culture