Police chief was fired after spending only six months on the position following an investigation which showed that he refused to hire white people and was giving promotions based on a minority-first approach. Several discrimination complaints were enough to end the career of the controversial, mixed-race background police chief who was the first ever gay officer hired in the department.
While majority of the Americans are fighting racism in every type and form, racism is becoming more and more serious issue in the last couple of years across the country. The incident with the police chief is one among many other incidents that happen every day in America, but this case is more controversial than others because it directly affects the law enforcement.
The non-white promotion policy that former Fla. police chief Larry Scirotto used in the last few months, costed him his job when he was fired earlier this month after being only six months on the job. According to the results of the investigation, Scirotto engaged in discriminatory promotion practices, and remarked “That wall is too white” when looking at pictures of the department’s command staff, reportedly saying “I’m gonna change that”.
Scirotto, a former assistant chief, was named chief at FLPD and he was the first openly gay chief hired by the department. According to CNN that obtained the 12-page investigation report, the mixed-race chief Scirotto created a “divisive atmosphere” in the department shortly after he was appointed as chief.
Unofficially, the number of incidents in the department was much higher compared to the actual number of complaints filed against Scirotto. In one incident, the investigation found that Scirotto said “Which one is blacker?” when considering a promotion — an incident the former police chief denies took place. The report quoted Scirotto saying he intended to “consider diversity at every opportunity.”
“Overall, there is a very divisive atmosphere within the department based on the perception the chief is intentionally using race, gender and sexual orientation as attributes necessary for promotions,” reads the report. “While the goal to diversify is an important and laudable goal it must be accomplished in a legally permissible manner.”
Few days after Scirotto was fired from the department, he spoke to Fox affiliate 7News where he said that only 15 people were promoted in the period from August to November last year. According to him, just six were ethnic or gender minorities, and said the report was “vague on the facts.” In addition, the former chief said that the non-white candidates “deserved to be promoted.”
“Those minority groups are now being treated as if they were less than deserving, and that’s not the case, and it never was,” he told the TV station. “The promotions that I made are of the minority candidates, were because they were exceptional candidates, and they excelled in every level of the organization,” he reportedly added. “They deserved to be promoted, and by the way, they happened to be minority. It wasn’t because they were minority.”
In addition to the claims Scirotto used controversial and illegal promotion policy, the report found out Scirotto was working as a high school basketball referee while being on the clock as chief. Scirotto was allegedly paid 55.50 hours by the city for these unauthorized schedule adjustments.