and City: (newest first)
White officers' group
in works (02/11/01)
Denver police officer Ronnie Williams is tired of so-called affirmative action policies
which require hiring and promotion of non-white officers ahead of European Americans such
"Standing in front of a statue of American civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther
King Jr., Denver police officer Ronnie Williams said Saturday [Feb. 10] that his desire to
create an organization for white officers was prompted by frustrations over hiring and
"Some officers, Williams said, have felt passed over for promotions and jobs in favor
of minority candidates. "Over the years, we decided white officers have
issues," too, said Williams, a white patrolman and eight-year member of the force.
Officer Williams deliberately spoke in front of the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in
order to emphasize equal rights. "That's what he stood for," Williams
said. "That's the point we're trying to get across." Other issues Williams
said he wants to address are racial quotas, racial profiling and equal punishments.
Officer Williams told Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman that he was starting a group which
he called the "Denver Police Equal Rights Association", and that he was modeling
his upstard organization after the White Police Association in the Houston, Texas police
According to Officer Williams, the Denver Police Equal Rights Association would be open to
all officers and would seek equal rights for all police officers regardless of race,
gender, or national origin.
According to the Denver Post: "On Saturday at City Park, [Denver Police
Officer] Williams told members of the media that organizations based on race are divisive.
He said he will work internally with supervisors and the Police Protective Association to
resolve disputes over hiring and promotions to sergeant, detective or special
The Denver police department currently has black, Hispanic, and gay officer
organizations. Prior to Officer Williams' announcement, none of the current Denver
Police organizations sought to defend the rights of all officers regardless of race,
gender or ethnicity.
Disengenuously, the president of the Black Police Officers Organization, Mr. Michael
Lemmons, said "If it's about equal rights for all, that's a good thing. If it's
special treatment for some, that would be a bad thing."
According to the Denver Post, police spokeswoman Virginia Lopez said the chief [Gerry
Whitman] met with Officer Williams and discussed his concerns, "and as long as this
organization adheres to the strict guidelines when forming and practicing within this
organization, there is no problem. However," said spokeswoman Virginia Lopez,
"with any organization within the police department, there are personal biases that
need to be put aside."
According to the Denver Post, Detective John Wyckoff, spokesman for the Police Protective
Association, said he has attended meetings with Chief Whitman and Officer Williams about
the effort and is not opposed to it. "Everybody has a right to start whatever
organization they want," Wyckoff said. The Police Protective Association
believes it "can represent the needs of all officers," from job benefits to
working conditions - regardless of race. That organization is a fraternal group that is
commonly referred to as the police union.
Police spokeswoman Virginia Lopez denied that resentment over racial quotas is a factor in
the Denver police department. According to the Denver Post, Ms. Lopez said:
"We are all men and women in blue. Are there some people in the department that
may have strong feelings [about racial quotas]? I'm sure there are. But when
it comes to the job, we remain professional."
(Excerpted from the Feb. 11, 2001 article in the
Denver Post by Post Staff Writer Karen Rouse)
[link to original story: http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0211a.htm
End Police Fire COLORADO