A newly unsealed report in a federal lawsuit accusing the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland of racial discrimination and retaliation supports the department’s side of the story.
An initial report on behalf of the officers, which was unsealed by a court last month, was written by former California law enforcement official Michael Graham.
The newly unsealed report, supporting the Prince George’s County Police Department, was written by former Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, and seeks to provide counterpoints, responding to allegations in Graham’s report from last month.
In his report, Manger counters each individual count of accused racist or retaliatory behavior, with an argument as to why it was not what it was accused to be.
Some of the points and counterpoints are as follows:
While the Graham report noted the police department staff does not accurately reflect the community as a whole, the Manger report counters saying it is not for a lack of wanting, but simply challenges in recruiting offers for the county’s positions. Manger went on to say that if the Graham report took civilian department employees into account, it would see even less of a demographic difference.
The Graham report also noted that higher in the ranks of the department, the disparities are more pronounced, with fewer minorities in those positions. That stance was countered by Manger noting that three of the department’s five chiefs are Black or Hispanic.
When it came to claims that officers of color were unequally punished for the same infractions as white officers by the Graham report, Manger’s report said the cases being compared were not the same, as varying details in each case led to the different punishments.
The Graham report also claimed the police department retaliated against over a dozen officers who spoke up about racial issues. The Manger report detailed a half dozen of the cases and said those transfers had nothing to do with retaliation.
In Manger’s summary, he said:
“Based on my experience, education, and training in police operations management, it is my opinion that Prince George’s County Police Department’s policies, practices, and procedures for training, managing, and disciplining its employees meet and often exceed current professional standards for large scale police departments across the United States. Further, it is my opinion that the Department adequately and appropriately handles citizen and internal employee complaints, and applies discipline imposed through the internal investigation process reasonably and consistently. Finally, it is my opinion that the Department’s policies, practices, and procedures for transfer and promotion of personnel are consistent with industry standards.”
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2018 in the U.S. District Court in Maryland by the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association on behalf of the officers that made the claims.
Since the time, both sides have been offering expert witness assessments.