ANNAPOLIS — Black troopers in the Maryland Department of State Police have accused the agency of racism and discrimination, pointing to disparities in discipline and promotions, as well as underrepresentation and alleged instances of retaliation, according to a state senator.

Maryland State Sen. Joanne Benson of Prince George’s County met with more than 20 Black troopers who presented her with documents detailing their claims, WRC in Washington reported Thursday. The television station did not identify the troopers because those who spoke out are violating department policy.

“They had the paperwork. They had the proof,” Benson said. “They had done their homework relative to the incidents that have occurred and the problems they were experiencing.”

Benson, a Democrat, said she would call Superintendent Woodrow “Jerry” Jones before the legislative Black Caucus. Jones has headed Maryland State Police for the past year.

“It is unacceptable. We’re not going to go along with it,” Benson said.

The agency has denied the allegations, but didn’t respond to the station’s request for comment.

Benson also said she is concerned about the low number of ranking Black troopers in the agency. According to statistics provided by Maryland State Police, Black officers make up 8.9% of high-ranking commissioned officers and 11% of the agency’s non-commissioned officers, with very few rising to lieutenants.

“We are talking about troopers that have been there 16, 17, 18, in one case 25 years,” Benson said. “When they get to a point when they are eligible for a promotion the rules change.”

Benson could not immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press on Thursday evening. Her cellphone voicemail box was full and she did not return a text seeking comment.

Other figures from Maryland State Police show discipline against white officers decreased between 2018 and 2020, reaching its lowest last year. Discipline against Black officers rose in the same time period, the statistics showed.

The data show most Black troopers had minor infractions, but attorney Clarke Ahlers says discipline is sometimes harsher for Black officers regardless of the type of infraction.

“They return outrageous punishments that are inappropriate for any trooper and it’s so clear that it’s happening to African American troopers,” Ahlers said.

In one case, Ahlers said, some white troopers left a banana on a Black trooper’s car and told him that they had left him lunch.

“When he told me that story, I was offended by that story. I’m still offended by that story,” the attorney said.

Ahlers said the Black trooper reported the incident to the Office of Fair Practices, which he said found nothing racial in what the white troopers did.

“That’s patently absurd. I’m old enough to remember that was a dog whistle of the banana,” he said.

The Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP has written letters to the superintendent asking that he look into allegations of discrimination within the department.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, WRC-TV.

(19) comments

jsklinelga

Several years ago I had a conversation with a black HS classmate/ I always had a deep respect for him because he worked an extremely menial job, his entire career. And he did it outstandingly in even the harshest conditions. At his retirement he was a supervisor but he had encountered racism his entire career. It does exist.

Sometimes the pendulum swings too far and cries about discrimination seem to frequent and over reactive. But each and every situation is different. Let us hope this matter is resolved justly.

phydeaux994

Tell me jsk, you are the History Guru. You obviously know what The Reconstruction Act of 1867 is, I’m sure you’re very familiar with it, what the intention was and what it did. Do you think it was a good thing? Why was it revoked 10 years later? Do you think that things would be much better today had it been carried out, that we would have this deep Racial Divide tearing our Country apart?

Dwasserba

"The television station did not identify the troopers because those who spoke out are violating department policy." Internal investigation only could explain a lot.

artandarchitecture

The police need to work on hiring & promoting the best *qualified*, based on meritocracy, and not based on superficial appearances.

2 years ago, the Dept of Justice sued the Baltimore Co. Police Dept because they believed that not enough entry-level black officers were being hired. It turns out that the blacks who applied to weren't able to pass the entrance exam. The applicants who flunked out cried that reading comprehension, logic, and observation skills should not be part of the written exam. To appease these failed applicants the written admissions exam was scrapped so that the standards could be lowered even further.

Around the country, police departments have been accepting obese, ex-con, & drug-using, applicants in the name of diversification. The state of CA no longer even requires citizenship to make or enforce laws. I guess next they'll toss out any marksmanship requirements, because practice is just too much hassle.

phydeaux994

What’s your point? Are you saying that the Officers here were not qualified but were hired because they were Black? Are you saying that there are no POC that are qualified for anything because they are not WHITE? Say what you mean a & a, don’t be shy.

artandarchitecture

Oh, I'm not shy...

They deliberately lowered the standards for the Baltimore County Police Dept by dropping the required written exam (that only the black applicants could not pass) in order to make *certain* that the desired amount of black applicants would be hired, whether they were qualified or not.

In Miami Beach, FL., it used to be a requirement that ALL Miami Beach cops had to know how to swim. Then, they were prodded into filling quotas based solely on skin color, and they had to drop the swimming requirement because too many black applicants couldn't swim.

We'll see if anything comes of the MD State Police 'racism' accusations.

phydeaux994

Give us your source for those assertions a & a, talk is cheap. You didn’t answer my questions. Do you believe that those Black Officers are unqualified to be Maryland Troopers? Yes or No?? Do you believe that your comments are Racist?

artandarchitecture

Answering phydeaux994 here because there isn't a "reply" button directly below his/her comment--

Give us your source for those assertions a & a, talk is cheap.

For further reading:

Baltimore’s Police Exam Isn’t Racist - Walter E. Williams September 18, 2019

Baltimore to pay $2 million settlement for police hiring discrimination -Ny Magee

November 4, 2020

Just how important to success is 'diversity'/having blacks govern blacks? Did Obama do more for blacks than Trump??

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/094f834c9fac7c5f9bf7dad92dfa51bd72db60e1b431f1394d6e8de7e1a16989.jpg

Do you believe that those Black Officers are unqualified to be Maryland Troopers? Yes or No??

I don't know. I don't jump to conclusions. As I said, "We'll see." I am highly skeptical of any claims of discrimination based on race.

Do you believe that your comments are Racist?

No, I don't. They are simply politically incorrect. After spending 50 years working tirelessly trying to help minorities, & try to close 'achievement gaps' I have decided that it is absolutely pointless. It is an *impossible* task, & has been proven so again & again, on large scales & small, all across the planet from Africa to Haiti, since the beginning of time.

bosco

When the standards are high and you can't meet your diversity hiring quotas, you lower the standards. Works the same in public schools. When high school graduation rates do no meet diversity quotas, you lower the standards - and let colleges teach remedial math and reading. When some snowflake cries because he didn't win, you give everybody a trophy.

phydeaux994

Total Racist BS bosco, a & a and you automatically assume that these Black Officers were hired to meet diversity quota’s???? Do you know that to be true?? Does the MSP have diversity quota’s? They may have graduated #1 in their MSP Trooper training class. I thought Equal Opportunity hiring programs were illegal. BTW, a snowflake is a Racist.

NewMarketParent

@phydeaux994

Reek knows its BS, but considers it a sport to try to dogwhistle his way through his white-hood rally.

bosco

phydeaux994 Feb 2, 2021 12:52pm

It’s all about Race nyf, this whole freakin’ mess is about Race, it always has been. Only Racists deny that it is about Race......

phydeaux994

What High School has lowered their standards?? Name ONE School System that has lowered their standards to accommodate minorities. What you and a & a are stating, not implying, is fundamental, basic RACISM. Are you really this dense??

artandarchitecture

San Francisco had only one excellent, highly competitive, public school left, Lowell High, until 2/9/2021, when the school finally gave into the *DEMANDS* of the Black Student Union that blacks be allowed admission by lottery without having to earn a qualifying exam score like other students.The same thing happened to the best High School in the entire country, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Fairfax,VA.  The student body is 73% Asian, & in 2020, they were bullied into accepting lower-scoring black students.  Now, they too, have a lottery for entry instead of accepting only the most brilliant American minds.

There are also many instances of teachers allowing underachievers to pass if they are seen as an athletic asset (future NBA, NFL star).    Josh Foxworthy, who earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering, and has been a TX Congressional candidate, has reported on the fact that blacks receive an automatic 230 points extra & Hispanics receive an automatic 185 points extra on their SAT scores.College entry is much easier for blacks & minorities.  It is ironic how "privileged," white, Elizabeth Warren pretended to be a minority Native American to get accepted into a competitive school.  Minorities have a percentage of seats reserved for them, AND they can get in with lower GPAs.  This was demonstrated by Vijay Jojo Chokalingam, an Indian-American who was first rejected as an Indian med school applicant, but was then accepted with the same credentials when he said he was black.  He has a website dedicated to exposing this. 

NewMarketParent

@artandarchitecture

Meritocracy doesn't work when one side has been specifically knee-capped and disadvantaged for generations.

Please take you peddle your mendacity elsewhere.

NewMarketParent

My bad. Correction

@artandarchitecture

Please peddle your mendacity elsewhere.

bosco

phydeaux994 Feb 2, 2021 12:52pm

It’s all about Race nyf, this whole freakin’ mess is about Race, it always has been. Only Racists deny that it is about Race....

NewMarketParent

@artandarchitecture

It's easy to claim to want a meritocracy when you have had a 400-year head start.

artandarchitecture

I guess locals need to study & learn from all the nonwhite newcomers who arrive to the U.S., & become *very* successful within 5-10 years.

If things were SO bad for minorities in the U.S., shouldn't we immediately stop all nonwhite immigration to make absolutely certain that no further people are crippled by bigotry? 🤔

“When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.” – Thomas Sowell

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