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The Ethical Society of Police are discussing racism in police departments

The Ethical Society of Police held a news conference Monday afternoon “to address systemic racism in the St. Louis County Police Department,” ESOP wrote in a news release.

Speakers talked about several topics, including the push to become recognized as an official organization within the county police department. ESOP leaders said they have given a Memorandum of Understanding to County Executive Sam Page several times over the last year, but he has yet to sign it.

“If the MOU is signed, ESOP will be recognized as an official organization and can represent their 65 members during investigations and have regular meetings with the Chief of Police,” the organization wrote in a news release. They also want county leaders to acknowledge that systemic racism exists in the St. Louis area and develop a plan to address it.

Comments Police Chief Mary Barton made earlier this month prompted concern from some county council members. The new chief of police said inappropriate remarks and behavior would no longer be tolerated. When Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway asked for clarification, and if that could be called racism, Chief Barton replied with the following remark. “There’s all kinds of things.

Some of it is ageism, some of it is sexism and I think to say that there’s systemic racism in the police department is overly broad and probably not accurate.

Until we sit down and talk about it and can verify or at least ferret out what it is people are talking about, I think to put a label on it is really unfair and shortsighted,” Chief Barton responded. ESOP further said the St. Louis County Police Department lags behind departments nationwide when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

“County police officers have dealt with racial discrimination at every level, including the police academy, diversity within specialized units, equitable representation with promotions, fair practices with the hiring process and the discipline of minorities. We have been calling for strongly mandatory cultural competency and implicit/explicit bias training for all ranks within the Department for some time,” ESOP wrote in its news release. Speakers will include ESOP St. Louis County Chapter Board Member Officer Shanette Hall, ESOP President Sgt. Heather Taylor and ESOP lawyer William Dailey. READ MORE:…